TASS – There are differences of opinion in the approaches of the Astana process guarantor states (Russia, Iran and Turkey) to the settlement in Syria but they are united by the common aspiration not to allow the repetition of Libyan and Iraqi scenario in Syria, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Monday at a press conference on the results of his visit to Damascus.
“Of course, there are significant nuances and significant differences in the approaches of Moscow, Ankara, and Teheran. One can observe these differences both through the official statements and through the situation in the country,” he said. “Yet we are united with Turkey and Iran by the common aspiration not to allow in any case the repetition of what was done to Libya and Iraq,” he added.
Russia’s top diplomat stressed that a “complete consensus does not exist anywhere.”
The minister reiterated that the “Astana format’ is based on the respect for Syria’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, on the principle of noninterference into internal affairs of this country, on the inadmissibility of attempts to ignite, particularly from abroad, separatist moods.
Answering the question whether reports that Russia works on removing Iran from the region correspond to reality, the top diplomat said: “Iranian presence is Syria is determined neither by the Russian side or any other, nor by somebody else’s wish with the exception of the position of the leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic, so this question should be addressed to Damascus.”.