Guarantor states renew commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity

Sochi, SANA _ The guarantor states of Astana process (Russia, Iran and Turkey )reaffirmed their firm commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria and to continue combating terrorism in it.

The final statement of Sochi summit, which brought together the Presidents of the three guarantor states on Thursday stressed the importance of adherence to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and the principles of the United Nations Charter, stressing that these principles shouldn’t be undermined by any action by any side.

The statement renewed the three states rejection of “all attempts to establish new facts on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism” and their determination to confront plans aim to undermine Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The guarantor states considered that decision of the United States to withdraw its troops from Syria, if implemented,  will be a step that contribute to enhancing stability and security in the country in implementation of the principles referred to.

The statement said that the three leaders discussed in detail the situation in de-escalation zone in Idleb as they condemned attempts of Jabhat al-Nusra  to expand its control in the region, expressing serious concern about it.

They agreed, according to the statement, to effectively address these plans as well as take concrete steps to reduce violations in de-escalation zone in Idleb through the full implementation of the agreements about it, including the Sochi agreement in last September.

The guarantor states agreed to continue cooperation to fully eradicate the terrorist organizations of  Daesh, Jabahat al-Nusra and other individuals, groups, institutions and entities linked to al-Qaeda or Daesh as designated by the UN Security Council.

The three presidents discussed the situation in northeastern Syria and agreed to coordinate efforts to ensure security and stability in the region in accordance with the existing agreements and respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.

They renewed that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria, stressing that a solution to the crisis in Syria should be through a process led by Syrians themselves with the help of the United Nations according to the UN resolution 2254.

The statement stressed the three states’ determination to facilitate the launching of the committee to discuss the constitution based on the work done by the guarantor states.

The importance of continuing cooperation and coordination with the Syrian parties and the UN special envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen was emphasized.

The statement stressed the need to continue efforts to help restore stability to all Syrian territory, calling on the international community, especially the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies, to increase aid to Syria and contribute to the reconstruction of infrastructure such as water, electricity, schools and hospitals.

The statement underlined the necessity of creating suitable conditions for the return of Syrians displaced by terrorism to their country.

The three leaders welcomed the interaction with all parties concerned, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and affirmed their readiness to continue and expand this coordination.

The guarantor states’ upcoming meeting would be held in Turkey, according to the statement.

The guarantor states agreed to hold next Astana meeting on the crisis in Syria next April.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the presidents of guarantor states of Astana process (Russia, Iran and Turkey) have stressed the need to preserve Syria’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and stability.

In a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the conclusion of the Sochi summit, Putin added that stress was placed on the necessity of restoring stability to Syria and preserving its sovereignty, independence and unity.

He stated that the Syrians are the ones entitled to determine their country’s future, stressing that a solution to the crisis in Syria should be according to the UN resolution 2254.

Putin made it clear that the de-escalation zone in Idleb is temporary and does not substitute the process of combating terrorism.

He said that the withdrawal of the US forces from Syria would lead to stability and the return of the Syrian state’s authority over the Syria territories.

The guarantor states see in the US withdrawal from Syria a positive step that helps in restoring stability, he added.

For his part, Rouhani said “We stressed the necessity of fighting terrorism in the areas where terrorists are present in Syria and we agreed on reducing escalation to ensure the restoration of stability.”

He reiterated that terrorism in Idleb should be eradicated so that the Syrian state regains its authority over Idleb.

Rouhani echoed Putin’s stress that the Syrians are the ones who determine their country’s future and that the political solution is the only solution to the crisis in Syria.

The Iranian president pointed out that the political solution is the only one to the crisis in Syria and the international community should  assist in the return of displaced Syrians to  their country.

He stressed the importance of preserving Syria’s territorial integrity and the need for the US forces to withdraw from Syria.

“We don’t trust what the Americans say about withdrawal from Syria. However, it would be a good thing if they do that,” he added.

The Iranian president voiced his country’s surprise at the silence of the United Nations on the repeated Israeli attacks on Syria.

Earlier, President Putin stressed that terrorism in Idleb must be eradicated completely and there should be practical steps to ensure that this is done fully.

This came during a meeting of the Presidents of the three guarantor states of Astana process in the Russian city Sochi.

“The cessation of hostilities regime is being followed all over Syria, and consequently escalation has been reduced, which is a positive result of the joint work of the three states,” said Putin.

“We need to guarantee  long-term de-escalation in Idleb after we have succeeded in  establishing the cessation of hostilities regime in the province. But this does not mean that we remain silent on what the terrorist organizations are doing, that is why I suggest that we consider practical steps that the guarantor states could jointly take to fully get rid of the hotbed of terrorism in Idleb,” added Putin.

He referred to the need for the constitution committee to start its work “very soon”, highlighting the remarkable efforts made in this regard.

Putin called on the international community, on top being the UN and its agencies, to play a more effective role in giving support to all the Syrians without politicization or preconditions.

He added that Russia, Iran and Turkey are putting coordinated efforts to ensure that stability prevails  in Syria again and to help the Syrians in the reconstruction process, noting that tens of thousands of displaced people have returned to their home areas over the past six months.

For his part, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the common goal of the guarantor states of Astana track is preserving the unity, sovereignty and independence of Syria and fighting terrorism and reducing escalation in it.

He noted that Jabhat al-Nusra is in control of 90 percent of the territory of Idleb, which shows the delay in implementing the de-escalation agreement, stressing that greater efforts are demanded to implement this agreement.

Rouhani pointed out the US continues to support the terrorists in Syria and Iraq in service of its agendas, stressing the necessity of ending the illegitimate presence of the US forces in Syria and returning authority over all areas to the Syrian state.

Rouhani renewed his country’s condemnation of the Israeli attacks on Syria that threaten security and stability in it, calling on the international community to shoulder its responsibility and condemn these attacks and work on preventing them.

The Iranian President also called on the international community to help the displaced Syrians return to their homeland.

“Syria today needs everyone’s efforts in the reconstruction process,” said Rouhani, adding that the continued unjustified interventions in Syria prolong the crisis in it.

He stressed that the Syrian-Syrian dialogue should take place without any foreign intervention.

H. Said / Gh.A.Hassoun

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