Meeting of the guarantor states of the Astana process to facilitate the Syrian settlement

Speech by President of Russia Vladimir Putin at the summit of the guarantor states of the Astana process

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Raisi, Mr Erdogan, colleagues,

First, I would like to thank President Raisi for inviting us to visit Tehran for our today’s meeting in the framework of the Astana process. Of course, it is best to talk in-person in this format, and now we have the opportunity to do so.

We hope to discuss in a practical and business-like spirit the urgent issues of stabilisation in Syria, and there are quite a few of them at present.

Overall, the joint efforts of Russia, Iran and Turkiye to facilitate the comprehensive settlement of the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic are highly productive. Owing to the assistance and support of our countries, the level of violence in Syria has decreased significantly; peaceful life is returning and the country is gradually rebuilding its economy and social sphere.

And no less important, the real political and diplomatic process has been launched in line with Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council. We believe the Astana Troika must continue playing a key role in the efforts to achieve complete normalisation in Syria and establish durable peace and civil accord in the country.

Importantly, Russia proceeds from its firm commitment to the fundamental principles of unconditional respect for the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

We support the draft joint statement prepared for approval following the summit, which determines the priorities of cooperation in this trilateral format.

We believe our task for the near future is to agree on specific steps to promote the intra-Syrian inclusive political dialogue, that is, to implement our agreement on creating conditions that will allow the Syrians to determine their future themselves, without outside interference.

In fact, this is why our three states initiated the adoption of the decision to establish a Constitutional Committee at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi in 2018. The Syrian parties achieved noticeable progress with support from Russia, Iran and Turkiye, and the participation of the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for Syria. Importantly, the Syrians showed a willingness to come to terms, to search for and find consensus solutions on priority issues related to the future arrangement of their sovereign state.

I am convinced that our countries will continue promoting cooperation in the interests of the ultimate elimination of the remaining hotbeds of international terrorism on Syrian territory. It is necessary to put an end, once and for all, to the presence of ISIS and other extremist groups in Syria.

Let me stress that the situation on the territories outside the control of the Syrian government is particularly concerning. We see real threats of crime, extremism and separatism coming from those regions. This is largely allowed through the destructive policy of the Western states led by the US which are using a broad arsenal of political and economic measures, are strongly encouraging separatist sentiment in some areas of the country, as the President of Iran just mentioned, and plundering its natural resources with a view to ultimately pulling the Syrian state apart. So, it would be best to take extra steps in our trilateral format aimed at stabilising the situation in those areas and at returning control to the legitimate government of Syria.

I think it is important that Russia, Iran and Turkiye are making concerted efforts to render support to the Syrian people in the post-conflict recovery. We believe that everything needed must be done to restore the economy and social sphere, to return refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes, and to create conditions for safe and unimpeded access to humanitarian aid for those who need it. And these activities must be continued, of course.

In addition, it is necessary to see that other members of the international community, the respective UN agencies, and international development institutions play a more substantial role in providing Syria with assistance without politicisation or any preconditions.

To conclude, I would like to express confidence that our talks will be useful and productive and the results will serve to enhance stability and security not only in Syria but also in the Middle East in general.

I would also like to note that the next Astana Troika summit is scheduled to be held in Russia, and we will definitely be happy to see all of you there.

Thank you for your attention.

Via http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/69034