Iran, Turkey, Russia trilateral summit reiterates eradication of terrorism in Syria

Alwaght – A key trilateral summit of Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents wrapped up in Tehran on Friday after discussing efforts to restore peace in Syria and reiterating on the complete eradication of terrorism in the Arab state.

At the end of the Tehran Trilateral Summit, the presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey issued a joint statement and emphasized their strong and continued commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and highlighted that they should be respected by all.

Addressing the summit Iranian president said the United States must swiftly end its “illegal presence and interference” in Syria, which, he added, has led to the continuation of insecurity in the war-ravaged country.

Rouhani raised six leading points in efforts to put an end to the seven-year crisis in Syria and said the international community is duty-bound to counter the Israeli regime’s measures, particularly the continuation of its occupation of the Syrian land and its increasing moves against the Arab country’s government and nation.

In any political negotiations to end the Syrian crisis, Syria’s territorial integrity and independence must be respected,” the Iranian president stated.

He stressed the importance of continuing the fight against terrorism in Syria until the eradication of all terrorist groups in the country, particularly in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Putin Stresses Ejection of Terrorists from Syria’s Idlib

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the summit that driving the extremists out of Syria’s Idlib province should be the primary goal at the current stage of the Syrian peace process.

Our common absolute priority lies in the total elimination of terrorists in Syria,” Putin said, adding that the Russian forces had recently helped to liberate the southwestern part of the war-torn country and that Idlib province has become the primary target now. “The presence [of militants] poses a direct threat to the … civilians in the whole region,” the president warned.

He also once again said that Moscow has “irrefutable” evidence suggesting that the terrorist groups entrenched in the militant-controlled province are seeking to stage false flag attacks, using chemical weapons. Such actions serve the interests of some foreign actors, he added. The Russian president also said that Moscow, Tehran and Ankara would continue to actively fight terrorist groups in Syria, which are not considered to be part of any ceasefire agreements.

Erdogan: Arming of Kurds by US in Syria a major concern

For his part, the Turkish president told the trilateral summit that the arming of Kurdish militias in northern Syria is a major cause of instability, which requires attention on par with the situation in Idlib. He then suggested that the three nations should pay attention to Kurdish militias in the northeast of Syria, and the continued supply of arms to those groups by the United States.

He added that the Tehran summit may be the last chance to resolve the situation in Syria’s Idlib in a peaceful manner.

In the joint statement that was issued at the end of the Tehran tripartite summit, the host, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey reaffirmed their determination to continue cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate ISIS, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaeda or ISIS, as they have been designated as terrorists by the UN Security Council.

The full text of the joint statement is as follows:

Joint Statement by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the President of the Russian Federation and the President of the Republic of Turkey

Tehran, 7 September 2018

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran H.E. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Russian Federation H.E. Vladimir Putin and President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gathered in Tehran on 7 September 2018 for a Tripartite Summit.

The Presidents:

  1. Expressed their satisfaction with the achievements of the Astana format since January 2017, in particular, the progress made in reducing violence across the Syrian Arab Republic and contributing to peace, security and stability in the country.
  2. Emphasized their strong and continued commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and highlighted that they should be respected by all. They reiterated that no actions, no matter by whom they were undertaken, should undermine these principles. They rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as the national security of neighboring countries.
  3. Discussed the current situation on the ground, took stock of the developments regarding the Syrian Arab Republic following their last meeting in Ankara on 4 April 2018 and agreed to continue trilateral coordination in accordance with their agreements. In this regard, they took up the situation in Idlib de-escalation area and decided to address it in line with the above-mentioned principles and the spirit of cooperation that characterized the Astana format.
  4. Reaffirmed their determination to continue cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate DAESH/ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaeda or DAESH/ISIL, as they have been designated as terrorists by the UN Security Council. They underlined that, in the fight against terrorism, separation between the above-mentioned terrorist groups and the armed opposition groups that had joined or would join the ceasefire regime, would be of utmost importance including with respect to preventing civilian casualties.
  5. Reaffirmed their conviction that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that it could only end through a negotiated political process. They reaffirmed their determination to continue active cooperation with a view to advancing the political process in consistence with the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi and the UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
  6. Reaffirmed their resolve to continue joint efforts aimed at advancing the Syrian led and Syrian-owned process for reaching a political settlement and reiterated their commitment to help establish and launch the work of the Constitutional Committee. They expressed their satisfaction with the useful consultations between their senior officials and the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria.
  7. Emphasized the need to support all efforts to help all Syrians restore their normal and peaceful life and to alleviate their sufferings. In this regard, they called upon the international community, particularly the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies, to increase their assistance to Syria by providing additional humanitarian aid, facilitating humanitarian mine action, restoring basic infrastructure assets, including social and economic facilities, and preserving historical heritage.
  8. Reaffirmed their determination to continue joint efforts aimed at protecting civilians and improving the humanitarian situation via facilitating rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all Syrians in need.
  9. Highlighted the need to create conditions for the safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their original places of residence in Syria. To this end, they emphasized the necessity of coordination among all relevant parties, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other specialized international agencies. They agreed to consider the idea of convening an international conference on Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
  10. Welcomed the progress of the work of the Working Group on the release of detainees/abductees and handover of the bodies as well as the identification of the missing persons, as undertaken with the participation of the UN and ICRC experts.
  11. Decided to hold their next meeting in the Russian Federation upon the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation H.E. Vladimir Putin.
  12. The Presidents of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey expressed their sincere gratitude to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran H.E. Hassan Rouhani for hosting the Tripartite Summit in Tehran.