Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the ongoing crisis in Syria has no military solution and can be settled down only through peaceful means.
He made the remarks on Friday in Tehran, addressing a trilateral summit between the presidents of Iran, Russia, and Turkey on the protracted crisis in Syria, the official website of the Iranian president said.
“Today’s summit is being held in continuation of the successful efforts of the three countries within the framework of the Astana Process to effectively confront terrorism and put an end to the Syrian crisis, based on the demands of the majority of the Syrians. This summit is also an opportunity to discuss our joint actions in the current and future stages,” Rouhani said.
“Given the complexities of the Syrian crisis, it was very important for the three countries to achieve a common framework based on the fundamental principles of preserving territorial integrity and integrity of Syria and respect for national sovereignty and the right of the Syrian people to determine the future of their country in attempting to quell the flames of war in Syria,” Rouhani said.
“From the outset, we have emphasized the inefficiency of a military solution to ending the Syrian crisis, and we are now pleased that after seven years of the Syrian crisis and based on the experience gained, the settlement of the Syrian crisis and other similar crises in the region through peaceful means has become a popular belief among the dominant players. Our efforts over the past years, especially after concentrating activities in the context of the Astana Process, have always been based on facilitating Syrian-Syrian dialogue and encouraging the government and the opposition to join the process.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s presence in Syria is at the request of the Syrian government and to fight terrorism in the country, and the continuation of this presence will be on this basis, Rouhani noted.
“At the same time, this presence, neither in the past nor in the presence, has not been -and will not be- aimed at imposing its opinion, and will support the will of the Syrian people as a friendly nation," said Iran's president.
Rouhani went on to add that fighting terrorism is a common international demand, but when the implementation of these demands comes within the framework of the recognized borders of another state and nation, it will not be possible to do so unless it happens through explicit request and clear consent of that country.
"We understand the concerns of some countries in the region about the threat of terrorism and separatism, but we consider cooperation with the Syrian government the most effective and lasting way to address these concerns, and believe that other solutions, including through direct intervention and without coordination with the Syrian government, will lead to the deepening of the crisis,” he stressed.
In April, the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey - the three guarantor states of de-escalation zones in Syria - held a meeting in Ankara to discuss ways for peaceful settlement of the crisis in Syria.
The three countries have so far held several rounds of peace talks in Kazakhstan’s Astana and elsewhere to help end the conflict in Syria. The fourth round of those talks in May 2017 produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.
Diplomatic efforts to end fighting in Syria gained momentum in 2017 with the announcement of a ceasefire in the Arab country in early January.
According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.
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