TASS – Moscow, Tehran and Ankara have no plans to carry out joint military operations in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Vietnam’s national broadcaster Vietnam Television (VTV), China’s CCTV and Phoenix TV.
“We don’t plan to carry out any military operations in Syria that would involve Russia, Turkey and Iran,” he said. “Russia and Iran are active in Syria at the invitation of the country’s legitimate government. Turkey has been citing its security concerns, but the Syrian government opposes the Turkish military presence,” Lavrov added.
Nevertheless, Damascus supported the Astana process, which made it possible “to ensure a true ceasefire in most of Syria and launch direct dialogue between the government and the armed opposition,” the Russian top diplomat pointed out.
According to Lavrov, no one engaged the opposition in dialogue before. “They [Western countries] relied on opposition members who left Syria long ago and live abroad, either in the Persian Gulf states or in Europe,” the Russian foreign minister noted. “However, it was the Astana process that turned the tide, bringing those at war with each other to the negotiating table,” Lavrov said.
“This is the most important thing because at the end of the day it is these people – the Syrian military and armed opposition members – that developments on the ground depend on,” he emphasized.