Iran Underlines Protection of Syria Integrity, National Sovereignty

Moscow -Protecting Syria’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as recognizing the Syrian people’s right to determine their destiny shape the main principles of a political resolution to the crisis in the country, says Iran foreign ministry official.

Hossein Jaberi Ansari Foreign Ministry Deputy for Arab and African Affairs said on Thursday that the Astana talks on Syria are aimed at facilitating the inter-Syrian negotiations and safeguarding peace and security in the country.

Referring to the previous rounds of talks in Astana, Jaberi Ansari noted that there have been successful talks on harnessing the crisis in Syria.

 There has been progress in talks on finalizing the by-laws for the joint committee monitoring the "ceasefire" agreement in Syria, the official added.

Elaborating on the achievements made so far, Jaberi Ansari said that since the ceasefire came into effect, there have been fewer and fewer cases of violation of the agreement.

He added that thousands of refugees have returned to their homes and more humanitarian aid have been dispatched to the war-torn areas.

Reconstruction of Syria has been started in some parts of the country, including Aleppo and Syrian people are more hopeful about the conflicts to come to an end, he said.

Efforts made by Iran, Russia and Turkey and their initiative, he said, are not going to substitute what has been done previously by the international community to address the issue; rather they tend to be complementary measures.

The foreign ministry deputy stressed that preliminary steps has already been taken to resolve the crisis in Syria.

But, we need to do more to finish the job, Jaberi Ansari said.

Iran is committed to help end the crisis in Syria and invites all the "opposition" groups to join peaceful talks with the Syrian government, he said.

The third round of talks on Syria started on Thursday in Kazakh capital, Astana, attended by representatives from the Syrian government, the armed "opposition" groups as well as Iranian, Russian and Turkish delegations.

While Kazakhstan is hosting the talks, delegates from Jordan and the United States are also present in the meeting as observers.

Jaberi Ansari is heading the Iranian delegation in the talks. He has held separate meetings with Syrian and Russian delegations.

The first round of talks between the Syrian government and the armed opposition groups were held in the Kazakh capital on Jan 23-24 in the presence of the Iranian, Russian and Turkish representatives.

Iran, Russia and Turkey are the initiators of the Dec 30 ceasefire in Syria. The three countries have also planned the Jan 2017 Astana talks.

IRNA

R.S

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