Syrian Crisis has no military solution: Ankara trio talks

Tehran, April 4, IRNA – Presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey in a statement highlighted the fact that there is no military solution to Syrian crisis.

Trilateral talks between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin kicked off on Wednesday afternoon in Ankara while focusing on Syria's developments.

During the meeting, parties expressed their opinion that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that the conflict could be ended only through a negotiated political process.

The full text of the final statement is as follows:

The Presidents

Took note of the developments regarding Syria since their last meeting on 22 November 2017 in Sochi;

Expressed their satisfaction with the outcomes of the first year of the Astana meetings held since January 2017, underlined that the Astana format had been the only effective international initiative that had helped reduce violence across Syria and had contributed to peace and stability in Syria, giving impetus to the Geneva process in order to find a lasting political solution to the Syrian conflict;

Reaffirmed their determination to continue their active cooperation on Syria for the achievement of lasting ceasefire between the conflicting parties and advancement of the political process envisaged by the UN Security Council Resolution 2254;

Emphasized their strong and continued commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, territorial integrity and non-sectarian character of Syria. They 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 the representatives of all segments of the Syrian society. They rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as the national security of the neighboring countries;

Expressed their conviction that the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, which was convened in Sochi on 30 January 2018, constituted an important milestone in paving the way for the political process, reiterated their commitment to follow up on the results of the Congress, reflecting the will of representatives of all segments of the Syrian society, in particular the agreement to form a Constitutional Committee, supported by the UN Secretary-General and the international community. They reaffirmed their support to facilitate the beginning of the Committee’s work in Geneva as soon as possible with the assistance of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria and in coordination with three guarantor states;

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-sectarian character of Syria as well as the international community to support the results of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress;

Expressed their conviction that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that the conflict could be ended only through a negotiated political process;

Reiterated 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 based on the free will of the Syrian people and 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;

Reaffirmed their determination to continue their cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate DAESH/ISIL, 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 underscored the success of their collective efforts in the fight against international terrorism;

Underlined that, in the fight against terrorism, separating the above-mentioned terrorist groups from the armed opposition groups that had joined and would join the ceasefire regime bore utmost importance with respect to preventing civilian casualties;

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; strongly urged the conflicting parties to comply with the provisions of the said Resolution, including by refraining from ceasefire violations;

Underscored their joint determination to speed up their efforts to ensure calm on the ground and protect civilians in the de-escalation areas as well as to facilitate rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to these areas and emphasized that the creation of de-escalation areas was temporary as provided for by the Memorandum of 4 May 2017;

Called upon the international community, particularly the UN and its humanitarian agencies, to increase its assistance to Syria by sending additional humanitarian aid, facilitating humanitarian mine action, restoring basic infrastructure assets, including social and economic facilities, and preserving historical heritage;

Welcomed the convening of the first meeting of the Working Group on the release of detainees/abductees and handover of the bodies as well as the identification of missing persons in Astana on 15 March 2018 with the participation of three guarantors as well as the UN and ICRC, and emphasized the importance of the effective functioning of the Working Group which would help build confidence between the conflicting parties;

Decided to hold their next meeting in the Islamic Republic of Iran upon the invitation of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran H.E. Hassan Rouhani.

The Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation expressed their sincere gratitude to the President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for hosting this Tripartite Summit in Ankara.

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