Russian, Turkish, Iranian presidents adopt joint declaration on Syria

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Russian, Turkish, Iranian presidents adopt joint declaration on Syria

SOCHI, November 22. /TASS/. The presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey have adopted a joint declaration on their countries’ cooperation in resolving the Syria crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters on Wednesday after the trilateral summit.

"The document defines priorities for further cooperation of Russia, Turkey and Iran, which have the upper hand in Syrian issues, and sets concrete tasks for the future," Putin said.

​"We have just completed with President of Iran Mr. Rouhani and President of Turkey Mr. Erdogan quite substantive talks on Syria, which were held in a constructive and businesslike manner," the head of the Russian state said, commenting on the results of the summit.

According to the Russian leader, at their meeting "the presidents discussed in detail the basic aspects of the Syrian settlement and agreed to continue taking the most active efforts to solve the main task: to establish peace and stability in that country, preserve its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity."

As Putin stressed, "We are united in the intention to promote the interaction of the three countries within the Astana format, which has already proven its efficiency and helped reduce considerably the level of violence in Syria and create conditions for the return of refugees and internally displaced persons."

Wrapping up outcomes of the summit, Putin noted that the three presidents "focused with satisfaction on substantial successes of the joint war on terror and confirmed readiness to boost cooperation so as to completely destroy ISIL [former name of the Islamic State terrorist group], Jabhat al-Nusra [both banned in Russia - TASS] and other extremist groups."

"We have agreed that successes on the battlefield, which lead to liberation of Syria’s entire territory from militants, have begun a qualitatively new stage in the crisis resolution. They imply real prospects for the long-term and comprehensive normalization in Syria and the country’s political development in the post-conflict period," Putin said, adding "that has been the objective of the joint declaration negotiated at the talks.".

Russia, Iran and Turkey will conduct work on a date and composition of a future Syrian National Dialog Congress in Sochi, he went on. 

"I can state with satisfaction that the presidents of Iran and Turkey welcomed the idea of convening a pan-Syrian forum - a Syrian National Dialogue Congress. It has been agreed to arrange for this most important event at the proper level and to ensure participation in it of the wide strata of Syrian society. The foreign ministries, special services and defense ministries were instructed to work on a date and composition of the Congress to be held here in Sochi," Putin said.

Syria’s social and economic restoration demands a large amount of work and the issue was discussed at the summit. 

"At today’s talks we did not leave out an issue of Syria’s economic and social restoration. Loads of work should be done. Actually, the Syrians should be helped to rebuild infrastructure, to revive the industry, agriculture and trade and to reopen vital facilities - hospitals, schools and kindergartens," Putin said.

Putin underlined that "it is a matter of crucial importance to multiply amounts of humanitarian aid to the population, demine the entire territory of Syria and to preserve the historic and cultural heritage."

At the talks the three leaders agreed to "do their utmost to urge other states and regional and international organizations to get engaged in the work," he said.

In conclusion, Putin expressed the hope that the accords reached at the trilateral talks "will help eventually accelerate the peace process in Syria, lower the risks of new conflicts and an increase in inter-ethnic and inter-confessional confrontation, and as a result, will have the most positive influence on the situation in the Middle East."

De-escalation zones

De-escalation zones should not weaken Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the declaration said.

"The heads of state confirmed their adherence to sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria and underscored that by no means either the setting up of de-escalation zones or any other political proposal aimed to settle the Syria crisis should undermine the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic," the declaration said.

Humanitarian assistance

The Presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey have urged the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrians, particularly in preserving historic heritage, says their joint declaration.

The leaders "urged members of the international community to assist in de-escalating and stabilizing Syria, including though delivering additional cargoes of humanitarian aid to that country, and to assist in humanitarian demining and preserving the historic heritage, in restoring vital infrastructure, in particular social and economic facilities," the joint declaration says.

"The three presidents made a decision to meet again if necessary," says the document.

Rouhani and Erdogan thanked the Russian president sincerely for a possibility to gather in Sochi in the trilateral format, according to the document.