Astana process in Tehran ends on positive note

July 20, 2022 - 21:19

TEHRAN— In the summit of the guarantors for the Astana process concerning Syria held in Tehran late on Tuesday ended on a positive note

The presidents of Iran, the Russian Federation and Turkey gathered in Tehran on Tuesday to participate in the tripartite meeting within the framework of the Astana process.

According to the joint statement issued after the meeting, Ebrahim Raisi of Iran, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey discussed various points.

The following is the joint statement of the summit:

The presidents

1. Discussed the current situation on the ground in Syria, reviewed the latest developments after the virtual meeting of the heads of state on July 11, 2019, and once again reiterated their determination to strengthen tripartite coordination based on mutual agreements and the results of the foreign ministers' meetings and senior experts. They also reviewed the latest international and regional developments and emphasized the leading role of Astana in the peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis.

2. They emphasized their unbreakable commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as to the goals and principles of the United Nations Charter, and stated that these principles should be respected by all and no action, regardless of its perpetrators, should weaken these principles.

3. They expressed their determination to continue cooperation to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They condemned the increase in the presence and activity of terrorist groups and their affiliated groups under various labels in different regions of Syria, including attacks that target civilian facilities and lead to the loss of innocent lives. They emphasized the necessity for full implementation of all measures related to northern Syria.

4. In this regard, the presidents rejected all efforts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of fighting terrorism, including the illegitimate initiatives of autonomy, and their determination to confront separatist agendas aimed at weakening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries through cross-border attacks and infiltrations.

5. They examined the conditions of northern Syria and emphasized that achieving security and stability in the region is only possible in the shadow of preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country, and for this purpose they decided to coordinate their efforts. They expressed their opposition to the illegal seizure and transfer of oil and the proceeds from its sale, which belongs to Syria.

6. They once again emphasized their determination to continue the current cooperation in order to finally destroy all individuals, groups, organizations and terrorist entities, and demanded the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure according to international humanitarian law.

7. They examined the de-escalating situation in the Idlib area in detail and emphasized the need to maintain peace in the field by fully implementing all agreements related to Idlib. They expressed serious concern about the presence and activities of terrorist groups that threaten civilians inside and outside the Idlib region. They agreed to make more efforts to ensure the stable normalization of the situation in the de-escalation zone of Idlib and its surroundings, including the humanitarian situation.

8. They expressed their deep concern about the humanitarian conditions in Syria and all unilateral sanctions that are contrary to the international law and humanitarian law and the United Nations Charter, including discriminatory measures through the issuance of exemptions for certain areas that can disintegrate this country by helping separatist agendas. In this regard, they called on the international community, especially the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies and other governmental and non-governmental international institutions to increase their aid to all of Syria with greater transparency, away from discrimination, politicization and preconditions.

9. They once again stated their opinion that the Syrian conflict has no military solution and can only be resolved through the Syrian-Syrian political process with the facilitation of the United Nations according to the UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

In this regard, they emphasized the important role of the Constitutional Committee, whose formation is the result of the definite participation of the guarantors of Astana and the implementation of the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi.

They also expressed their readiness to support the work of the committee through continuous interaction with its members and the special envoy of the UN Secretary General on Syrian affairs, Geir O. Pederson, as the facilitator to ensure the sustainable and effective functioning of the subsequent committee meetings. They expressed the opinion that the committee in its work should respect the rules of reference and the rules of procedure in order to be able to carry out its mission in the direction of preparing and drafting constitutional amendments for popular approval, as well as achieving progress in its work with the spirit of compromise and constructive interaction without external interference and externally imposed timeframes with the aim of reaching the general agreement of the members. They stated that the activity of the Constitutional Committee should be free of any logistical and administrative obstacles.

10. They stated their determination to continue the operation of mutual release of detainees or abducted within the framework of the relevant working group in the Astana process. They emphasized that this working group is a unique mechanism that is effective in building trust between the Syrian parties and its existence as necessary, and they also decided to take measures to continue the efforts for the release of the arrested and kidnapped and to increase the scope of operations in accordance with the agenda of the working group to deliver the bodies and identify the missing persons.

11. While clarifying that refugees and internally displaced persons have the right to return and the right to be supported, they emphasized the need to facilitate their voluntary and safe return to their main residences in Syria. In this regard, they asked the international community to provide appropriate assistance in order to resettle them and return to normal life, and take more responsibility in order to participate in increasing aid to Syria, including the development of the primary recovery plans, including basic infrastructure, especially water, electricity, health, treatment, education, schools, hospitals, etc. - and humanitarian demining according to international humanitarian law.

12. They also condemned the continuation of the Zionist regime's military attacks on Syria, including on civilian infrastructure. They considered these attacks as a violation of international law, international humanitarian law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, as well as destabilizing and intensifying tension in the region. They also reiterated the need to comply with internationally recognized legal decisions, including the provisions of relevant United Nations resolutions rejecting the occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights, especially United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 497, which invalidate all decisions and actions taken by the Zionist regime in this regard. 

13. In addition to the Syrian issue, they emphasized their intention to strengthen tripartite coordination in various fields in order to increase joint political and economic cooperation.

14. They agreed to oblige their representatives to hold the 19th international meeting on Syria within the framework of the Astana process by the end of 2022.

15. They decided to hold the upcoming tripartite meeting of the leaders of the Astana process at the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation Mr. Vladimir Putin at the earliest possible opportunity in the Russian Federation.

16. The Presidents of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey expressed their sincere gratitude to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, His Excellency Mr. Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, for graciously hosting the tripartite meeting of the leaders of the Astana process in Tehran.

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