Astana, SANA – Astana Process guarantor states Russia, Iran and Turkey reaffirmed their firm and continued commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.
The three states’ Foreign Ministers, Sergei Lavrov, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Mouloud Jawish oglu, stressed at the end of their meeting in Astana on Friday, that any action by any side should not undermine these principles which are emphasized by the relevant international resolutions, and clearly expressed by representatives of all segments of Syrian society during the Syrian-Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in Sochi.
In a joint statement, The guarantor states agreed to continue cooperation to eliminate 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 in Syria and to prevent their relocation to other countries and regions.”
They expressed their satisfaction with the tangible contribution of the Astana Process to improving the situation in Syria over the past year, noting to the success of the collective efforts in the fight against international terrorism, in particular the destruction of Daesh in Syria and creating the conditions conducive to a political settlement based on the UN Security Council resolution no. 2254.
According to the statement,the guarantor states said that the formula and achievements of Astana have become an effective tool in enhancing security and stability in Syria, adding that they agreed to continue effective cooperation which will have a positive impact on the situation in Syria and the region as a whole.
They renewed their satisfaction that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria.
They also “took note of the state of implementation of the Memorandum of 4 May 2017 on the creation of the de-escalation areas in Syria, reaffirming their determination to continue implementing its provisions with respect to all four de-escalation areas and also emphasizing that under no circumstances the creation of the de-escalation areas should undermine the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.”
The three countries welcomed the convening of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi on 30 January 2018 as a major contribution giving momentum to the process of the political settlement under the UN auspices and reaffirmed their commitment to the results of the Sochi Congress, especially to form the Constitutional Committee and to facilitate the beginning of its work in Geneva as soon as possible.
The three states also expressed their concern with the ongoing violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement, and declared that, as guarantors of this agreement, they would step up their efforts to ensure observance of the respective agreements, stressing the need to deliver humanitarian aid quickly, safely and unhindered to those affected.
The statement welcomed the UNSC Resolution no.2401 which demands 30-day cessation of hostilities in Syria and does not apply to the organizations of Daesh, Jabhat al-Nusra, al Qaeda and groups and entities and associated institutions as defined by the UN Security Council.
The upcoming Astana meeting would be held in mid-May, according to the statement.
The Kazakh capital of Astana hosted eight meetings about Syria, the last of which was held on December 21-22 where the guarantor countries stressed the need for maintaining Syria’s unity and sovereignty, continuing the fight against terrorism, enhancing the cessation of hostilities in the de-escalation zones and affirmed a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria.
Lavrov: Guarantor states committed to support Syria in fight against terrorism
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed commitment of the guarantor states, Russia, Iran and Turkey, to continue supporting Syria in the fight against terrorism and backing the political settlement of the crisis in the country as well as preserving Syria’s ’ sovereignty and territorial integrity .
Larvov’s remarks came during a press conference of the foreign ministers of the guarantor states of the cessation of hostilities in Syria in Astana on Friday
The Russian Minister said that “Today hardly anyone can dispute the fact that the Astana Process and its achievements have become an effective tool for upholding peace and stability in Syria, a tool that proved to be viable and highly relevant. I should point out here that there have been baseless efforts to downplay and even negate the importance of the Astana talks,”
Lavrov added that the guarantors states reiterated commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and that is the core principles enshrined in the UN Security Council resolutions, pointing out that all segments of the Syrian people have confirmed these principles during Syrian national Dialogue Congress held in Sochi last January.
He stressed that Russia, Iran and Turkey have agreed to continue supporting Syria in the fight against terrorism and supporting the political settlement of the crisis in the country, including forming constitutional committee tasked with discussing the current constitution and launching its work in Geneva as soon as possible.
The Russian diplomat said that we guarantee a political process carried out by the Syrians themselves without any foreign interference to determine the future of their country in accordance with the UN Security Council relevant resolutions.
“ The West seeks to protect terrorists in Eastern Ghouta who are targeting Damascus with shells where Western political directors are trying to play their usual scenario and accuse the Syrian and Russian governments of lagging to implement resolution 2401, Lavrov said in reference to the situation in Ghouta.
He pointed out to the safe corridors set up by the Syrian government to exit the civilians besieged by the terrorist organizations in Eastern Ghouta and the terrorists’ attempts to prevent the civilians from leaving to use them as human shields, clarifying that the Syrian Arab Army managed to secure the exit of thousands of civilians via these corridors.
The top diplomat said that UNSC resolution no.2401 does not apply to the terrorist organizations and that Russia and Syria continue to implement it along with combating terrorism, calling all states to abide by the same principles.
He stressed that US threats to strike Syria on the basis of various pretexts are “unacceptable”.
For his part, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the victories of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies against terrorism contributed to advance the political process in Astana.
“Astana process has achieved important and tangible achievements through the establishment of the de-escalation zones,” he said, adding “We must build upon these achievements and facilitate humanitarian access to all areas in Syria,”
Zarif considered that Syrian National Dialogue Conference held in Sochi a great success as it helped shape the future of Syria by the Syrians themselves.
Solving the crisis in Syria is a political and should be based on commitment to Syria’s independence and territorial integrity, combating terrorism and rejecting foreign interferences.
In turn, Turkish foreign minister Mouloud Jawish oglu claimed his country’s keenness to implement the agreement of the cessation of hostilities in Syria and stop the terrorist organizations’ crimes.