Second Putin-Erdogan-Rouhani summit: step towards peace in Syria

Second Putin-Erdogan-Rouhani summit: step towards peace in Syria

The presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani met in the Turkish capital Ankara today. The aim of the summit is to speed up the peace process for Syria.

Iran, Russia and Turkey as guarantors of the observance of the ceasefire regime in the Syrian Arab Republic. The first summit in such format was held in Sochi last year.

The presidents "rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as the national security of neighbouring countries," the joint statement, released on the website of the Iranian presidential administration, read.

The presidents also stressed the importance of separating terrorist groups in Syria from armed opposition, which observes the truce.

"Underlined that, in the fight against terrorism, separating the above-mentioned terrorist groups from the armed opposition groups that had joined and would join the ceasefire regime bore utmost importance with respect to preventing civilian casualties," the statement said.

The presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran are confident that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that the conflict could be ended only through a negotiated political process.

The leaders also welcomed the convening of the first meeting of the Working Group on the release of detainees and abductees "and handover of the bodies as well as the identification of missing persons in Astana on 15 March 2018 with the participation of three guarantors as well as the UN and ICRC, and emphasized the importance of the effective functioning of the Working Group which would help build confidence between the conflicting parties."

"The Presidents… called upon the international community, particularly the UN and its humanitarian agencies, to increase its assistance to Syria by sending additional humanitarian aid, facilitating humanitarian mine action, restoring basic infrastructure assets, including social and economic facilities, and preserving historical heritage," the statement reads.

A new a three-way summit will be held in Iran.

The deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Andrey Baklanov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the new Moscow-Ankara-Tehran summit is held in the conditions of the regime of President Bashar Assad's victory in the long-term political and military crisis in Syria. "These new Syrian conditions have not yet been fully appreciated by the international community or the media. So far, there was a civil war between the regime of Bashar Assad and various oppositions since 2011, and the international community tried to ensure that the parties agree to peace talks. And for 7 years this task was not solved, but the strengthening of Assad's position removed this task," he explained.

"As a result, since the irreconcilable opposition has remained aloof from peaceful efforts, and the moderate opposition agreed on negotiations, the situation has completely changed, and those opposition groups, that planned to join the peace process in strong positions, were defeated," Andrei Baklanov added.

The format Russia-Turkey-Iran has become one of those tools that helped radically change the situation in Syria. "At first this format became a surprise for many, but it was necessary, because the efforts made by the UN were not effective enough," the orientalist said.

"At this summit, I think, the process of further development of the military-political situation will be determined: the updated authorities will be formed more quickly on the liberated territory, the role of the central government will be unshakable. It will be necessary to decide the question of how to consider the demands of the Kurds. Today's meeting takes us to the finish line in the Syrian settlement, which opens the way for further strengthening of the Assad regime and the gradual unblocking of the northern and southern territories," Andrei Baklanov concluded.

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