President of Russia Vladimir Putin: President Erdogan, President Rouhani, colleagues,
I am happy we are meeting again in this trilateral format. I think the Astana process, of which Russia, Turkey and Iran are the guarantors, is an effective mechanism for facilitating a settlement in Syria.
We will discuss key issues of settling the crisis in Syria, launching intra-Syrian political process, and helping Syrians recover their economy and their social needs.
Our joint efforts have made it possible to stabilise the situation and reduce the level of violence in Syria. The main thing is that we have managed to lay the foundation for durable and lasting political and diplomatic settlement based on the UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
The delegations from our countries have done a lot of work in addition to the regular meetings of the leaders. Thirteen meetings have already taken place in Nur-Sultan and Sochi with participation of Russia, Turkey and Iran, the Syrian sides, UN experts and observers from other interested parties, which have recently been joined by Iraq and Lebanon.
The Russia-initiated Syrian National Dialogue Congress that took place in Sochi in 2018 played a major role. A decision was made to set up a constitutional committee with a view to drafting the parameters of future statehood in Syria. Now it is necessary to promptly launch this process in Geneva, all the more so since its membership has been fully determined.
Naturally, it is essential to continue the uncompromising struggle against terrorist groups in Syria. Tensions in the only remaining de-escalation zone, Idlib, are still of the most concern. Terrorist organisations have stepped up their activities there recently.
This de-escalation zone must not remain a shelter for all kinds of extremists and must by no means become a bridgehead for armed provocations.
Colleagues, together, we need to take additional steps for the complete removal of the terrorist threat emanating from the Idlib zone.
Naturally, the situation in the northeast of Syria is a source of concern. Problems of security in this area and other parts of Syria should be resolved based exclusively on preserving its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We consider it unacceptable to divide Syria into spheres of influence.
Importantly, Russia, Iran and Turkey are helping Syrians in their post-conflict recovery, restoring the country’s economy and the social sphere and creating conditions for safe and unhindered access of the needy to humanitarian relief.
The results of these joint efforts are obvious: since July 2018 over 390,000 refugees and about 1.3 million IDPs have returned to their homes in Syria.
We hope the international community, especially the UN and its relevant agencies will be more active in joining the efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Syria and will increase their contribution to the restoration of its war-torn infrastructure, water and electricity supplies, destroyed schools and hospitals.
Of course, such assistance must be granted to all Syrians without discrimination, politicization or any preconditions.
Colleagues, I would like to express confidence that our talks will be productive and the agreements reached will help finally settle the crisis in Syria, strengthen its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and make a tangible contribution to stability in the Middle East in general.
Thank you for your attention.