June 26, 2022

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Iran takes part in Astana platform conference on Syria

TEHRAN – A delegation from Iran headed by Ali Asghar Khaji, senior advisor to Iran’s foreign minister on special political affairs, took part in the 18th Astana platform conference in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur Sultan.

The Iranian diplomat met with the Turkish and UN officials on the sidelines of the conference. Khaji and his entourage met with the Turkish delegation at the 18th Astana platform conference. In the meeting, Khaji reviewed the latest political and field developments in Syria, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

The senior advisor to Iran’s foreign minister underlined that Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty are untouchable.

He also referred to the United States’ illegal presence in the east of the Euphrates River. Khaji called for an end to the plundering of Syria’s natural resources and also to Washington’s discriminatory behavior and its refusal to remove the anti-Syria sanctions. The Iranian diplomat then underscored the need to lift all sanctions on Syria without any political precondition and discrimination.

Khaji also condemned the Zionist regime’s increasing aggression and said Iran is worried about the continuation of Israeli attacks against Syria.
In the meeting, the two sides reaffirmed the need for commitment to the preservation of Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

On the second day of the 18th Astana platform conference in Nur Sultan, the UN delegation met with Khaji and his entourage. The two sides discussed the latest developments concerning the political settlement of the Syria crisis as well as the Syrian constitutional committee and the humanitarian aspects of the crisis.

The senior advisor to Iran’s foreign minister pointed to the latest international developments and called for the international community as well as the UN and its specialized institutions to pay more attention to the humanitarian aspects of the Syria crisis. Khaji also demanded an increase in aid for the Syrian people without any political precondition and discrimination.

He slammed the U.S. discriminatory behavior regarding sanctions and called for all the bans on Syria to be removed immediately.

Khaji then welcomed a general amnesty declared by the Syrian president and described it as a positive step toward confidence-building and as a sign of the Syrian government’s positive approach toward the peaceful resolution of the disputes.

In the meeting, the two sides discussed the 8th session of the Syrian constitutional meeting in detail. They also welcomed the 9th session of the conference which is slated to take place on July 25.

At the end of the Astana platform conference, Iran, Turkey and Russia issued a joint statement on Syria. They “reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and highlighted that these principles should be universally respected and complied with.”

They “examined the latest international and regional developments and emphasized the leading role of the Astana Process in peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis” and “expressed their determination to continue working together to combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations and stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries including through cross-border attacks and infiltrations.”

They “condemned increased presence and activities of terrorist groups and their affiliates under different names in various parts of Syria, including the attacks targeting civilian facilities which result in loss of innocent lives. Highlighted the necessity to fully implement all arrangements related to the north of Syria.”

The guarantors of the Astana format “reiterated the necessity to further continue their ongoing cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate DAESH/ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaeda or DAESH/ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the UN Security Council, while ensuring the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure in accordance with international humanitarian law.” 

They also “expressed serious concern with the presence and terrorist activity of ‘Hayat Tahrir al’Sham’ and other affiliated terrorist groups as designated by the UN Security Council that pose threat to civilians inside and outside the Idlib de-escalation area.”

Iran, Russia and Turkey “reviewed in detail the situation in Idlib de-escalation area, agreed to make further efforts to ensure sustainable normalization of the situation there and improve the humanitarian situation in and around the area. Highlighted the necessity to maintain calm on the ground by fully implementing all agreements on Idlib.” They “Discussed the situation in northeast of Syria and agreed that constant security and stability in this region can only be achieved on the basis of preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. Rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives under the pretext of combating terrorism.”

The delegations of the three guarantors “reaffirmed determination to stand against separatist agendas in the east of the Euphrates aimed at undermining the unity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries.”

They “expressed grave concern, in this regard, with increasing hostilities and all forms of oppression by the separatist groups against civilians in east of Euphrates, including through suppression of peaceful demonstrations, forced conscription and discriminatory practices in the field of education” and “reiterated their opposition to the illegal seizure and transfer of oil revenues that should belong to Syria. Condemned the actions of countries that support terrorist entities including illegitimate self-rule initiatives in the North-East of Syria.”

Iran, Turkey and Russia “condemned continuing Israeli military attacks in Syria which violate the international law, international humanitarian law, the sovereignty of Syria and neighboring countries, endanger the stability and security in the region and called for cessation of them.” They expressed “heir conviction that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and reaffirmed their commitment to advance viable and lasting Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254.” 

They also “emphasized the important role of the Constitutional Committee, created as a result of the decisive contribution of the Astana guarantors and in furtherance of the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi; in promoting the political settlement of the Syrian conflict.”

They “noted the convening of the 8th round of the Drafting Commission of the Syrian Constitutional Committee between 30 May-3 June in Geneva and welcomed the announcement of holding the next round on 25-29 July” and “called for holding next session with a constructive approach by the Syrian parties. In this regard, reaffirmed their determination to support the Committee’s work through continuous interaction with the Syrian parties to the Constitutional Committee and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen, as facilitator, in order to ensure its sustainable and effective functioning.”

They also “expressed the conviction that the Committee in its work should respect the Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure to enable the Committee to implement its mandate of preparing and drafting for popular approval a constitutional reform as well as achieving progress in its work and be governed by a sense of compromise and constructive engagement without foreign interference and externally imposed timelines aimed at reaching general agreement of its members.”


Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/473740/Iran-takes-part-in-Astana-platform-conference-on-Syria

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