ASTANA- The delegations participating in the Astana meeting on settlement in Syria, held Thursday afternoon a plenary session.
Head of the Syrian Arab Republic's delegation Bashar al-Jaafari said during the session "we hope Astana process to continue and be a success as to help achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people in attaining security and stability all over their country".
In a press conference following the Plenary session, al-Jaafari stressed that Astana track is positive as it serves the main goal of the meeting which is to maintain and fix the cessation of hostilities and separate the armed groups that signed the agreement and believe in political solution from the terrorists who refused to sign it.
He said Astana 2 meeting has paved the way for the upcoming Geneva conference, which needs to take into account the outcomes of both meetings in Astana that should be at the core of the schedule of the next Geneva meeting, according to SANA.
He noted that the meetings which the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic held with the Russian and Iranian friends were “fruitful” and that they have contributed a great deal to the convening of this meeting.
He affirmed that Syria is committed to the arrangements of the cessation of hostilities agreement out of its care for ending the Syrian bloodshed, stressing however that “my country maintains the right to respond to any breach of these arrangements by the armed terrorist groups.”
He warned that those who breach these arrangements will be considered as terrorist targets that will be combated by the Syrian Arab Army and its friends and allies.
“My country, Syria, will continue its efforts to liberate every inch of its territory from the control of the terrorist groups that are know; meaning ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra and their affiliates and those groups which do not commit to the cessation of hostilities regime,” said al-Jaafari.
Al-Jaafari clarified that the reason why no final concluding statement was issued at the end of the meeting is the that the delegations of the Turkish side and the armed groups arrived late in Astana, noting that the Turkish delegation came with a low-level representation that is not up to the position of Turkey which claims to be one of the three guarantor countries.
He stressed that Russia and Iran, as guarantor countries, have succeeded in undermining the attempts aimed at bringing efforts at Astana back to square one.
He made it clear that Turkey has failed to commit itself to controlling border in light of its responsibility to do so, but has rather facilitated the entry of tens of thousands of terrorists into Syria, stressing that decisive measures should be taken to close the Turkish border in front of the flow of terrorists into Syria.
“Turkey can’t play both roles of causing a fire and fighting it at the same time,” said al-Jaafari, affirming that Turkey must withdraw its invasive forces from Syria and respect the statement of Astana 1 meeting that stressed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.
On his part, head of the Russian delegation to Astana meeting Alexander Lavrentyev noted during the session that since the first Astana meeting, there have been great efforts to secure the continuation of the cessation of hostilities regime.
“Through joint efforts, we can bring the viewpoints closer and establish peace in Syria,” said Lavrentyev, adding that “our mission is to support the cessation of hostilities regime in Syria.”
Head of the Iranian delegation Hossein Jaberi Ansari, on his part, stressed during the plenary session commitment to providing help in solving the crisis in Syria.
“We see that the impost important role at Astana is to start dialogue on the ceasefire, and we are working on the basis of preserving the sovereignty of countries, and we call on all countries to determine their role regarding the future of Syria and its people who have suffered a lot throughout this crisis,” he said.
Ansari also called on everybody to exert enough efforts to launch the Syrian dialogue, considering that the agreements already reached would help in achieving that.
In a statement to the reporters, Ansari said what is important at this stage is to consolidate the ceasefire in Syria.
He pointed out that Astana track is not a substitute for any other tracks, stressing however that this track has advantages that can be invested to resolve the crisis in Syria.