Astana Joint Statement affirms commitment to preserving Syria as independent and democratic state

Astana, SANA – The final Joint Statement of Astana meeting affirmed commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as a multi-ethic, multi-religious, non-sectarian and democratic state.

The statement said the delegations of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey, in line with the Joint Statement of their Foreign Ministers in Moscow on December 20th 2016 and the UN Security Council resolution no.2336, supported launching the talks between the government
of the Syrian Arab Republic and the armed opposition groups in Astana on January 23-24, 2017.

The statement added that the delegations expressed their appreciation of the participation in and facilitation of the abovementioned talks by the US Secretary-General Special Envoy on Syria and reaffirmed their “commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, non-sectarian democratic state, as confirmed by the US
security Council.”

The delegations of the three countries also expressed their conviction that “there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis and that it can only be solved through a political process based on the implementation of the US Security Council resolution no.2254 in its entirety.”

The three sides, the statement stressed, “will seek, through concrete steps and using their influence over the parties, to consolidate the ceasefire regime (CR) established pursuant to the arrangements signed on December 29, 2016 and supported by the UN Security Council resolution 2336 (2016) in order to contribute to minimizing violations, reducing violence, building confidence, ensuring unhindered humanitarian access swiftly and smoothly in line with the UN Security Council resolution 2165 (2014) and ensure the protection and free movement of civilians in Syria.”

The Russian, Iranian and Turkish sides have decided “to establish a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire, prevent any provocations and determine all modalities of the ceasefire,” according to the statement.

They also reiterated their determination to fight jointly ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations and to separate them from “armed opposition groups”, the statement said.

The three sides expressed their conviction that there is an urgent necessity to step up efforts to jumpstart the negotiation process in accordance with the UNSC resolution 2254 as they emphasizing that the international meeting in Astana is an effective platform for a direct dialogue between the government and the opposition as required by Resolution 2254, the statement added.

Russia, Iran and Turkey “support the willingness of the armed opposition groups to participate in the next round of negotiation to be held between the government and the opposition under the UN auspices in Geneva as of February 8, 2017,” the statement said.

They urged all members of the international community to support the political process with a view to swiftly implementing all steps agreed on the UN Security Council resolution 2254, and decided to actively cooperate on the Astana platform on specific issues of the UN-facilitated Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process so as to contribute to global efforts to implement the UN Security Council resolution 2254.

They also expressed gratitude to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and to the Kazakh side in general, for hosting the international meeting on Syria in Astana.

M. al-Frieh/H. Said

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