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Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Joint Statement by Iran, Russia and Turkey on the International Meeting on Syria in the Astana format

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The Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey as guarantors of the Astana format:

1. Reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter;

2. Reaffirmed in this regard the respect for universally recognized international legal decisions, including those provisions of the relevant UN resolutions rejecting the occupation of Syrian Golan, first and foremost UN Security Council resolution 497;

3. Reviewed in detail the situation in the Idlib deescalation area and highlighted the necessity to establish calm on the ground by fully implementing all agreements on Idlib, first and foremost the Memorandum of 17 September 2018. They expressed serious concern with the increased presence of the terrorist organization Hayat Tahrir alSham in the area and reaffirmed the determination to continue cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate DAESH/ISIL, AlNusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with AlQaeda or DAESH/ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the UN Security Council. While deploring civilian casualties, they agreed to undertake concrete measures, based on the previous agreements, to ensure the protection of the civilian population in accordance with the international humanitarian law as well as the safety and security of the military personnel of the guarantors present within and outside the Idlib deescalation area;

4. Discussed the situation in the northeast of Syria and emphasized that longterm security and stability in this region can only be achieved on the basis of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country;

5. Rejected in this regard all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism, including illegitimate selfrule initiatives, and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries;

6. Expressed their conviction that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and reaffirmed their commitment to advance the Syrianled and Syrian owned, UNfacilitated political process in line with the UN Security Council resolution 2254 and the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi;

7. Held detailed consultations on the trilateral basis as well as with the representatives of the Office of the United Nations SecretaryGeneral’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen on the conclusion of formation and launching of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, in accordance with the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. They expressed satisfaction with the progress made on finalization of the composition and the rules of procedure of the body and reiterated their readiness to facilitate the convening of the committee as soon as possible;

8. Welcomed the fourth successful operation on mutual release of detainees/abductees held on 31 July 2019 within the framework of the respective Working Group of the Astana format. They underscored that the Working Group was a unique mechanism, that had proved to be effective and necessary for building confidence between the Syrian parties, and agreed to take measures to continue and step up its work;

9. Emphasized the need to increase humanitarian assistance to all Syrians throughout the country without preconditions. In order to support the improvement of the humanitarian situation in Syria and the progress in the process of the political settlement, they called upon the international community, the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies, to enhance the assistance to Syria, inter alia by developing early recovery projects, including the restoration of basic infrastructure assets water and power supply facilities, schools and hospitals as well as the humanitarian mine action. They also discussed the idea and exchanged views on the perspectives of holding the International Conference on the Humanitarian Assistance to Syria;

10. Highlighted the need to facilitate safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their original places of residence in Syria, ensuring their right to return and right to be supported. In this regard they called upon the international community to provide appropriate contributions and reaffirmed their readiness to continue interaction with all relevant parties, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other specialized international agencies;

11. Welcomed the participation of the delegations of Iraq and Lebanon as new observers of the Astana format. They expressed their conviction that the observers (Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon) would contribute to the efforts to bring peace and stability in Syria;

12. Expressed their sincere gratitude to the Kazakh authorities for hosting in NurSultan the 13th International Meeting on Syria in the Astana format;

13. Decided to hold the next International Meeting on Syria in the Astana format in NurSultan in October 2019.

Source: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN

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