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Russian, Iranian, Turkish foreign ministers issue joint statement on Syria

The foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey Sergey Lavrov, Mohammad Javad Zarif and Mevlut Cavusoglu as guarantors of the observance of the ceasefire regime in Syria made a joint statement following the meeting in Astana on March 16. A trilateral summit is planned to be held in Turkey on April 4, and the next high-level international meeting on Syria in Astana is to take place in mid-May.

The parties, as noted in the statement, agreed to continue effective interaction that would have a positive effect on the situation in Syria and the entire region and reduce the risk of ethnic and sectarian divide.

Russia, Iran and Turkey expressed satisfaction with concrete contribution of the Astana process to improvement of the situation in Syria during the last year, emphasizing in this regard the success of their collective efforts in the fight against international terrorism, particularly the defeat of ISIL in Syria and the creation of favorable conditions for the political settlement on the basis of the UN Security Council resolution 2254.

The ministers expressed joint determination to continue their coordinated efforts with a view to ensuring that the progress in the reduction of violence on the ground was irreversible.

"They reaffirmed their strong and continued commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic. They also highlighted that none of the actions, no matter by whom they were undertaken, should undermine these principles, confirmed by relevant UN resolutions and by the will of representatives of all segments of the Syrian society, clearly and unequivocally expressed during the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi," the statement says.

Russia, Iran and Turkey reiterated their conviction that the Syrian conflict has no military solution, took note of the state of implementation of the Memorandum of 4 May 2017 on the creation of the de-escalation areas in Syria and reaffirmed their determination to continue implementing its provisions with respect to all four de-escalation areas and also emphasized that under no circumstances the creation of the de-escalation areas should undermine the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

The countries reaffirmed their determination to continue their 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 designated by the UN Security Council in Syria and to prevent their relocation to other countries and regions.

The ministers underscored the necessity to assist the Syrians in restoring the unity of their country and in achieving a political solution of the ongoing conflict through an inclusive, free, fair and transparent Syrian-led and Syrian-owned process leading to a constitution enjoying the support of the Syrian people, and free and fair elections with the participation of all eligible Syrians under appropriate UN supervision.

"Called upon the representatives of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the opposition committed to the sovereignty, independence, unity, territorial integrity and non-fractional character of Syria as well as the international community to support the work of the Constitutional Committee; underscored the need to ensure rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to areas affected by the ongoing conflict; welcomed the UN Security Council resolution 2401 in response to the grave humanitarian situation all across Syria, including in Eastern Ghouta, Yarmouk, Foua and Kefraya, Idlib Governorate, Northern Hama Governorate, Rukhban and Raqqa; expressed their readiness to continue efforts with a view to implement the provisions of the above-mentioned resolution, aimed at strengthening the ceasefire regime and improving the humanitarian situation all across the Syrian Arab Republic, and called upon all parties to fully support this process, inter alia by sending additional humanitarian aid, facilitating humanitarian mine action, restoring basic infrastructure assets, including social and economic facilities, and preserving historical heritage," the statement of the foreign ministers of the three countries says.

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