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Astana Meeting Communique Affirms Commitment to Preserving Syria's Sovereignty, Independence, Territorial Integrity

ASTANA, (ST)- The communiqué of the Astana Meeting on Syrian Settlement, concluded today, has stressed commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to Syria's being a democratic, nonsectarian, multi-religious and multi-ethnic country.

According to the communiqué,  the delegations of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and Turkey, in accordance with the Joint Statement of their Foreign Ministers' meeting in Moscow on December 20, 2016 and with the UN Security Council Resolution No.2336, support the launching of Astana talks between the Syrian government and the armed opposition groups and appreciate the facilitations provided by the UN Chief's Special Envoy for Syria during the talks.

 The delegations affirm their commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to Syria's being a democratic, nonsectarian, multi-religious and multi-ethnic country as previously stressed by the Security Council.

They believe that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria and that the only solution will be attained through a political process based on the Security Council Resolution No. 2254.

Russia, Iran and Turkey will use their influence on parties on ground to enhance and strengthen the cessation of hostilities which was established in accordance with some arrangements signed on December 29, 2016 and with the support of the Security Council resolution No.2336  for 2016 in order to reduce violence, put an end to violations, build confidence, guarantee fast and swift delivery of humanitarian aid in accordance with Security Council Resolution No. 2165 for 2014 and ensure protection and freedom of movement for civilians in Syria.

These three parties also decided to establish a joint mechanism to observe full commitment to the cessation of hostilities and to prevent provocations.

The delegations reaffirm their determination to collectively fight "Deash", and "Jabhat al-Nusra" and to separate them from the armed opposition groups.

They stress the urgent need to intensify efforts  as to launch talks in accordance with Resolution No. 2254 and assert that Astana meeting is an effective platform for direct dialogue between the Syrian government and opposition.

The delegations also express their support for the armed opposition groups' desire to take part in the second round of UN-sponsored talks between the government and the opposition on February 8, 2017 in Geneva. They urge the international community to support the political process and the fast implementation of the items of resolution No.2254. They also decided to effectively cooperate in this respect based on what has been achieved in Astana meeting.

Hamda Mustafa

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