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Rouhani Hosts Putin and Erdogan in Astana Group Video Meeting

July 1, 2020 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani convened via video in a meeting of the guarantors of the Astana process for facilitating the Syrian peace settlement. The group first met in Astana, Kazakhstan in November 2017 (the capital has since been renamed Nur-Sultan).

The three Presidents issued a 14-point joint statement on their discussions which included the situation in Syria’s Idlib province, the return of the Syrian refugees, and “their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Highlighted that these principles should be universally respected and that no actions, no matter by whom they were undertaken should undermine them.” Their joint statement further

“reaffirmed their conviction that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that it could only be resolved through the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254. Emphasized in this regard the important role of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, created as a result of the decisive contribution of the Astana guarantors and the implementation of the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. Welcomed the agreement to hold the third meeting of the Constitutional Committee in August 2020 and reaffirmed the readiness to support its work through continuous interaction with its members and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen, as facilitator, in order to ensure its sustainable and effective work.”

Speaking at the meeting, Putin recalled their previous meeting in September and observed that since then the level of violence in Syria had been reduced and that refugees are slowly returning, “and most importantly, the preconditions for a stable political and diplomatic settlement on the basis of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 have been created.”

In his opening address, Erdogan said on July 1 that protecting Syria’s political unity and territorial integrity are priorities, and that “the establishment of calm on the ground and a lasting solution to the conflict are our priority.”

“Today nine years after the start of the crisis in Syria Iran believes that the political way is the only solution to address the crisis in Syria,” Iranian President Rouhani said. “A united, independent Syria without the illegitimate presence of foreign forces will not only bring back peace to Syria but it will help maintain peace and security for neighbors.”

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