Putin, Rouhani Reaffirm Need to Preserve Syria's Territorial Integrity, Call for Immediate Withdrawal of US Forces from Syria

ANKARA, (ST)- President Vladimir Putin of Russia has affirmed that the situation in Idleb de-escalation zone raises concerns as terrorists continue to target the neighboring areas.

Putin was speaking during talks on Monday with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts Hassan Rouhani and Recep Tayyib Erdogan within the trilateral summit of leaders of the three guarantor states of Astana process on political settlement in Syria.

 Putin reiterated that Idleb should not be allowed to remain a terrorist hotbed  and that additional steps should be taken to completely eradicate terrorism there.

The Russian President stressed the need to preserve Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and to continue fighting terrorism until it is completely eliminated.

 He said that the guarantor states work to achieve a political settlement of the crisis in Syria in accordance with the Security Council Resolution No. 2254 and to provide assistances to the Syrians to help them reconstruct their country and to facilitate the return of the displaced Syrians to their homeland.

He made it clear that assistance to restoration efforts in Syria must not be politicized and should be provided to all the Syrians without preliminary conditions.

On his part, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that the illegal presence of US troops in Syria poses a major threat to the country's territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, calling for rapid withdrawal of all US occupation forces from Syria.  

He stressed the importance of putting an end to foreign interference in the country's internal affairs and of restoring stability and peace to Syria.

In a press conference following the trilateral meeting,  Putin said that Russia hopes the United States will finally realize its decision to withdraw its troops from Syria.

On his part, Rouhani said that the guarantor states reject Washington's attempts to undermine the territorial integrity of Syria, calling for an immediate end to the illegal presence of US forces in Syria.

Hamda Mustafa