Russia, Turkey, Iran determined to pursue peace in Syria

Syria peace negotiations in Astana, Kazakhstan, which have been delayed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, resumed by Russia, Turkey and Iran in Sochi port city in the presence of delegations of the United Nations, the Syrian government and Syrian opposition groups.

The fifteenth international meeting for peace in Syria started on Sunday and the delegations continue talks in the Russian city on Wednesday.

The countries involved in the peace-making process in Syria hope that the trilateral meeting in Sochi will revitalize efforts to resolve Syrian problems and help eradicate Daesh terrorists in the war-stricken country.

The two-day meeting is going to review issues such as the Syrian constitution committee, national sovereignty of the legal government on the whole territories of Syria, reconstruction of the war-torn country, the return of displaced people, the exchange of prisoners of war as well as the counteraction of US-imposed sanctions.

Iran’s Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali addressed the meeting, saying that the Iranian delegation has kicked off negotiations with other delegations from Russia, Turkey and the UN from the first hours of the two-day meeting.

“Russia, Turkey and Iran are determined to bolster cooperation in line with peace efforts made in Astana talks in order to create and maintain peace and stability in Syria,” Jalali noted.

Russia’s Special Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said that the participants in the peace talks review devastating consequences of unilateral sanctions by the United States and some Western countries on Syria.

He further called on the Syrian opposition delegation to divide themselves from terrorist groups in Idlib in northwestern Syria.

One of the significant issues on the sidelines of the meeting is that the US dismissed the invitation to take part in the Sochi peace talks. Lavrentiev underlined that Russia extended a letter of invitation to the US, but Washington ruled it out.

The Iranian delegation headed by Ali Asghar Khaji, a special assistant to Iran’s foreign minister for special political affairs, held talks with different delegations, including the Russian delegation. Lavrentiev stressed the need for collaboration between Tehran and Moscow to resolve the crisis in Syria. Khaji emphasized the need for combating terrorism in Syria.

The Iranian delegation also held talks with the delegation of the UN headed by Geir Pedersen, UN Special Envoy for Syria.

The two sides discussed political developments in Syria, underlining the necessity of advancing work on the constitution of the war-torn country.

Khaji noted that Iran has always supported the mission of the UN special envoy for Syria.

Pedersen expressed gratitude for Iran’s support, stressing the need for trust-building among Syrian warring sides and international players

Russia and the Islamic Republic of Iran have held talks on Syria in the framework of Astana peace negotiations for more than five years. The Russians and the Iranians held 14 rounds of talks in this respect.

The most important achievement of the negotiations was the signing of a memorandum of understanding to establish secure areas in Syria, which was finalized in the fourth round of the Astana peace process.

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