Russian-Turkish-Iranian meeting held in Moscow… Lavrov: we will continue to combat ISIS and al-Nusra

Moscow, SANA-Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced on Tuesday that Russia, Iran, and Turkey are agreed on the political settlement for the crisis in Syria with affirmation on continuing to combat ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations.

Lavrov’s statement came during a Russian-Iranian-Turkish conference following a meeting between Lavrov and his Iranian and Turkish and counterparts Mohammad Javad Zarif and Mevlut Cavusoglu which was held in Moscow on Tuesday in parallel with another meeting between the defense ministers of the three countries.

Lavrov pointed out during the press conference that the three countries reached as a result of the meeting a joint statement that includes political measures to resolve the crisis in Syria, noting that this statement seeks to revive the political settlement process as it confirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and respects the country’s diversity.

The Russian Minister said that Russia, Iran, and Turkey stress the need and importance of the UN role to resolve the crisis in Syria, particularly the international resolutions, in addition to stressing the importance of the work done by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG).

He added that Iran, Russia, and Turkey welcome the exerted efforts to settle the situation in Aleppo, evacuate militants from its eastern neighborhoods, and evacuate the humanitarian cases from al-Fouaa and Kefraya in Idleb countryside, and that they are working to ensure the success of this process.

Lavrov said that Iran, Russia and Turkey determine to continue the fight against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra and to separate between terrorists and what called “moderate opposition”.
“I believe that the format that you can see here is the most effective one,” he added.

Lavrov stressed the need to expand the cessation of hostilities in Syria, and that the three countries support launching intra-Syrian dialogue and are willing to be its guarantors.

He stated that the Russian-American efforts for resolving the crisis mustn’t be abandoned, even though the American side has failed to honor the commitments reached with Russia, particular regarding Aleppo, adding that the lack of coordination is the reason behind the recent terrorist attack on Palmyra.

The Minister went on to say that the statements made by US State Secretary John Kerry on Monday in which he said that not everyone in Obama’s administration were interested in the success of Russian-American agreements is a fair assessment.

Lavrov affirmed that the process of clearing Aleppo of militants is almost over, and could be concluded within the next two days, which shows the efficacy of cooperation between states that are ready to take action and not just make statements.

For his part, Zarif affirmed that the current situation in Syria requires serious international cooperation to combat terrorism, delivering humanitarian aid to Syrian people and launching political settlement with an emphasis on the sovereignty and integrity of the Syrian territory.

He pointed out that the Moscow statement includes in its first steps the commitment to combating ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other terrorist organizations, which will create suitable conditions to implement the cessation of hostilities permanently in Syria, stressing the three countries’ determination to exert the required efforts in this direction.

Zarif also reiterated Iran’s condemnation of the blatant terrorist attack that claimed the life of the Russian Ambassador in Turkey, offering his condolences to the Ambassador’s family and to the Russian people and government.

In turn, Cavusoglu said that there’s no alternative to the political solution for the crisis in Syria, but he alleged that the aggression carried out by Turkish forces in Syrian territory seeks to fight ISIS.

Manar al-Freih / Hazem Sabbagh

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