Turkey, Russia, Iran condemn increasing presence of terror groups in Syria

ANKARA (AA) : Turkish, Russian and Iranian leaders condemned Tuesday the increased presence and activities of terrorist groups and their affiliates under different names in various parts of Syria and said that there was no military solution to the Syrian conflict.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi gathered in Iran’s capital Tehran for the 7th summit in the Astana format to discuss the recent developments in Syria, the fight against the terrorist groups, particularly YPG/PKK and Daesh /ISIS, which pose a threat to the regional security, the humanitarian situation, and the voluntarily return of the Syrians to their homes.

The leaders “rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground” under the pretext of fighting terrorism, including “ilegitimate self-rule initiatives,” according to a joint statement released after the meeting.

They also expressed their determination to stand against “separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and threatening the national security of neighboring countries,” including through cross-border attacks and infiltrations.

Erdogan, Putin, and Raisi said that security and stability in the region can only be achieved on the basis of preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.

The statement also said the leaders reviewed in detail the situation in the Idlib de-escalation area and stressed that it is necessary to maintain calm on the ground with all agreements on Idlib fully implemented, agreeing to make further efforts to ensure sustainable normalization of the situation in and around the Idlib de-escalation area, including the humanitarian situation.

The leaders said there could be “no military solution to the Syrian conflict” and that “it could only be resolved through the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254.”

Putin, Raisi and Erdogan are convinced that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict.

“[The parties] reaffirmed their conviction that there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict,” the document says. The Troika believes that the conflict can only be resolved through a political process led and assisted by the UN.

The leaders of the three countries emphasized in a joint statement the role of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, established with the help of Astana guarantors as a result of the implementation of the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi.

The Troika reaffirmed its readiness to maintain constant interaction with the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria, Geir Pedersen, in order to ensure the stable and effective work of the next sessions of the Constitutional Committee.

The leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey Vladimir Putin, Ebrahim Raisi and Tayyip Erdogan decided to expand the trilateral format of cooperation beyond the Syrian issue according to the joint statement by the leaders following the trilateral talks held in Tehran on Tuesday within the framework of the Astana format, reports Tass news agency.

“In addition to the Syrian issue, they [the leaders] reaffirmed their intention to strengthen trilateral coordination in various areas in order to promote joint political and economic cooperation,” the document says.

As to President Erdogan’s visit to Tehran, President Rayeesi emphasized that the trip is undoubtedly a turning point in improving the level of mutual ties, because both nations are determined to increase interactions, reports Fars news agency.

The president went on to say that Turkish and Iranian officials have discussed expansion of economic and trade ties, because they are of the opinion that the level of cooperation is not sufficient given the existing capacities.

“The establishment of industrial towns as well as joint technological and scientific parks have been among the issues of interest during the talks with President Erdogan,” he said, noting that the two countries are keen on using the capabilities of knowledge-based companies.

“The two sides also discussed the extension of a 25-year contract to transfer Iran’s gas to Turkey,” President Rayeesi continued, adding that Ankara and Tehran want to expand investments in both countries.

The presidents agreed to hold the next trilateral summit in Russia at the invitation of Putin.

[Photo: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C), Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) at a joint tripartite news conference after the 7th summit in Astana format in Tehran, Iran on July 19, 2022. Photojournalist :Mustafa Kamaci/AA]

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