Turkey, Iran discuss preparations for upcoming Syria summit

Senior Turkish and Iranian diplomats held a phone call on Saturday regarding preparations for an upcoming high-level meeting, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian held the call after the Iranian Foreign Minister paid an official visit to Turkey on June 27.

The presidents of the three guarantor states of the Astana Process on Syria, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, Ebrahim Raisi of Iran and Vladimir Putin of Russia, are expected to hold a trilateral meeting in Tehran later this month.

The Astana talks for peace in Syria were launched in 2017 on the initiative of these three countries. Its meetings also contribute to the advancement of the diplomatic process led by the United Nations in Geneva.

Putin will travel to Tehran on July 19 for a summit on Syria with Erdoğan and Raisi, the Kremlin announced on Tuesday.

“The president’s visit to Tehran is scheduled for July 19,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. He said the trio would meet for peace talks on Syria.

Russia, Turkey and Iran have in recent years held talks on Syria as part of the “Astana peace process” to end more than 11 years of conflict in the Middle Eastern country.

It will be the Kremlin chief’s second visit abroad since he sent troops to Ukraine in late February, after visiting Tajikistan in late June.

The Kremlin said Putin would also hold separate talks with Erdoğan in Tehran, without providing further details.

Russia and Iran are the main military and political supporters of Syrian regime leader Bashar Assad, while Turkey has provided military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups still fighting against Assad’s forces in northwestern Syria.

The Kremlin had said on Monday that Putin and Erdoğan, who has mediated between Moscow and Kyiv since Russia sent its armed forces to Ukraine on February 24, would hold face-to-face talks shortly after a phone conversation in which they discussed efforts to facilitate grain exports from Ukraine. Peskov made no mention on Tuesday of a bilateral meeting between Putin and Raisi in Tehran.

The 18th round of the international meeting on Syria in the Astana format was held on June 15 and 16 in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan.

According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, during the Astana peace talks, the situation on the ground, the fight against terrorism, the latest developments in the political process and issues of humanitarian aid were discussed, and a joint statement has been published.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the parties underlined their firm commitment to the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the leading role of the Astana process in the peaceful settlement of the Syrian issue.

They expressed their determination against separatist agendas that threaten the national security of neighboring countries, including through cross-border attacks and infiltration.

The parties also condemned the increased presence and activities of terrorist groups and their affiliates under different names in Syria. They stressed the need to implement all arrangements related to northern Syria.

They said all attempts to create illegitimate self-reliance initiatives under the pretext of fighting terrorism are unacceptable. They condemned the actions of countries that support terrorist entities, including illegitimate autonomy initiatives in northeast Syria.

“The parties expressed their deep concern over the escalation of hostilities and all forms of oppression by separatist groups against civilians east of the Euphrates, including through the suppression of peaceful protests, conscription force and discriminatory practices in education,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. .

“In this context, our determination to fight against the PKK and its Syrian branch, the terrorist organization YPG, as well as to take all measures to protect our borders, to prevent attacks against our people, our security forces and innocent Syrian civilians has been highlighted,” he added. added.

Furthermore, the parties reaffirmed their commitments to advance the process of political settlement of the Syrian conflict in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

In this context, they called for the next round of the Constitutional Commission to be held with the constructive approach of the Syrian parties.

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