President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani have adopted a joint declaration following their meeting in Russia's Sochi district yesterday (November 22) evening. The topic of the meeting was the crisis in Syria.
In their joint declaration made public at the end of the meeting, the leaders have agreed on the importance, that the de-escalation zones in Syria should not endanger the territorial integrity, sovereignty and the unity of the country.
During peace talks in Kazakhstan's capital city of Astana earlier in September 2017, leaders from Russia, Turkey and Iran had agreed to set up de-escalation zones in Syria. The agreed zones would include, fully or partly, Eastern Ghouta and the provinces of Idlib, Homs, Latakia, Aleppo and Hama.
Some highlights from the statements of the leaders and the joint declaration are as follows:
* Promise to work on ceasefire as guarantor states
The leaders promised to continue their efforts and political support "to ensure that the progress in the reduction of violence is irreversible."
An emphasis was made to the importance of Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the commitment of the guarantor states to these values.
* Reconciliation talks between the government and the opposition
The leaders urged representatives from both government and the opposition in Syria to attend the National Dialogue Meeting to be held soon in Sochi.
* Cooperation to eliminate ISIS
The leaders noted that "over the 11 months since the establishment of the ceasefire regime on December 29, 2016, a breakthrough had been made in bringing closer the elimination of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), Nusra Front and all other terrorist organizations as designated by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and agreed that Iran, Russia and Turkey would continue their cooperation.
* Measures, including the release of detainees/abductees
The leaders pointed out to the need for the "Syrian parties to take confidence-building measures, including the release of detainees/abductees and the handover of the bodies as well as identification of missing persons to create better condition for political process and lasting ceasefire".
* Call for international support
Members of the international community were urged to "support the process of de-escalation and stabilization in Syria, by sending additional aid to the Syrian people, facilitating the humanitarian mine action, preserving historical heritage, and restoring basic infrastructure assets, including social and economic facilities".
Click to read the complete version of the joint statement.
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