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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Joint statement of Astana guarantor states on Syria

ISNA - Iranian Students' News Agency

Tue / 17 September 2019 / 11:54

Tehran (ISNA) - The Presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey, in a joint statement, reaffirmed their firm commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, rejecting every effort to create new realities in the Syrian field under the pretext of combatting terrorism, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives.

The 14-paragraph statement released after intensive talks by Hassan Rouhani, Vladimir Putin and Rajab Tayyip Erdoğan, welcomed the participation of Iraq and Lebanon as new observers of the Astana Format and called on the international community to take more responsibility in rebuilding Syria and increasing humanitarian aid to the people of the country.

The full text of the joint statement is as follows:

The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Hassan Rouhani, the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Putin, and the President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, met on September 16, 2019 in Ankara to attend a trilateral summit.

The Presidents:

1- Discussed the current field situation in Syria, reviewed developments since their last meeting in Sochi on February 14, 2019, and reiterated their resolve to strengthen trilateral cooperation in the light of their agreements.

2- Reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. They reiterated that these principles should be respected by everyone and that no action, whoever its agent(s), should undermine these principles.

3- Reaffirmed in this regard the respect for universally-recognised international legal decisions, including those provisions of the relevant UN resolutions rejecting the occupation of Syrian Golan, first and foremost UN Security Council resolution 497, and condemned the United States Government's decision regarding the occupied Syrian Golan, which is a clear violation of the international law, endangering regional peace and security. They consider Israeli military strikes in Syria as destabilising and in violation of the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, leading to heightened tensions in the region.

4- Discussed the situation in the north-east of Syria and emphasised that security and stability in this region can only be achieved on the basis of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, and agreed to coordinate their efforts in this regard.

5- Rejected in this regard all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combatting terrorism, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives, and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries.

6- Reviewed in detail the situation in the Idlib de-escalation area and highlighted the necessity to establish calm on the ground by fully implementing all agreements on Idlib, first and foremost the Memorandum of 17 September 2018. They warned about the deteriorated humanitarian situation in the region and its surroundings as the result of continued tensions and agreed to take concrete steps to reduce violations. They also expressed serious concern over increased presence of the terrorist organisation "Hayat Tahrir al-Sham" in the area and reaffirmed the determination to continue 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, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the UN Security Council. While deploring civilian casualties, they agreed to undertake concrete measures, based on the previous agreements, to ensure the protection of the civilian population in accordance with the international humanitarian law as well as the safety and security of the military personnel of the guarantors present within and outside the Idlib de-escalation area.

7- Reiterated their belief that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that it can only be ended through a UN-facilitated Syrian-Syrian political process in line with the UN Security Council resolution 2254.

8- Expressed their consent over the successful conclusion of formation and launching of the Constitutional Committee and their support for the efforts of the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen on the agreement among the Syrian parties with regard to the work of the committee. They reiterated their readiness to facilitate the launching of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, in accordance with the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi.

9- Emphasised the need to increase humanitarian assistance to all Syrians throughout the country without preconditions. In order to support the improvement of the humanitarian situation in Syria and the progress in the process of the political settlement, they called upon the international community, the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies, to take more responsibility in this regard and enhance the assistance to Syria, inter alia by developing early recovery projects, including the restoration of basic infrastructure assets - water and power supply facilities, schools and hospitals as well as the humanitarian mine action.

10- Highlighted the need to facilitate safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their original places of residence in Syria, ensuring their right to return and right to be supported. In this regard they called upon the international community to provide appropriate contributions and reaffirmed their readiness to continue interaction with all relevant parties, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other specialised international agencies. They agreed to coordinate their initiatives to hold international conferences on humanitarian aid to Syria and the return of Syrian refugees.

11- Welcomed the participation of Iraq and Lebanon as new observers of the Astana format.

12- In addition to the Syrian issue, reviewed the latest regional and international developments and also cooperation in various fields, and emphasised their decision to develop joint economic and commercial cooperation.

13- Decided to hold the next tripartite summit in the Islamic Republic of Iran at the invitation of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mr Hassan Rouhani.

14- Expressed their sincere gratitude to the President of Turkey Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan for hosting the tripartite summit in Ankara.

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