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Sochi Summit Supports 'Syrian dialogue' Over New Constitution, Elections

Sochi Summit Supports 'Syrian dialogue' Over New Constitution, Elections

Thursday, 23 November, 2017 - 08:45
Presidents Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Hassan Rouhani of Iran meet in Sochi, Russia, November 22, 2017. Kayhan Ozer/Turkish Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced consensus of the guarantor states over the most important steps in the Syrian file, in remarks following the tripartite summit held on Wednesday in the city of Sochi, with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts; Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani respectively.

In their statements, the three presidents pointed out that military operations against terrorism in Syria had practically ended and that the degree of violence in the country had been greatly reduced, thanks to their efforts in sponsoring the Astana process and the establishment of de-escalation zones, which they said had contributed to preserving Syrian unity and sovereignty.

The leaders emphasized the need to cooperate on the Russian initiative to hold a comprehensive national dialogue conference in Sochi.

They also outlined the next stage in the areas of reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Syrian economy and the provision of humanitarian assistance to the people.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Putin said that participants in the summit have emphasized the success of operations against terrorism in Syria, which “marks the beginning of a new stage that paves the way for comprehensive settlement and the political reconstruction of Syria in the post-crisis period.”

The Russian president stressed that the three countries assigned their ministries of foreign affairs, defense ministries and security institutions “to work to determine the structure and date of the [Syrian national] conference”, to be held in Sochi, with the participation of all forces, political parties, internal opposition and the ethnic and religious components of the Syrian society.

He added that the conference would allow “Syrians to discuss the main issues on the national agenda, primarily the future structure of the state and the adoption of a new constitution based on internationally-sponsored elections.”

Putin also said he briefed his Turkish and Iranian counterparts on the results of his talks with the head of the Syrian regime Bashar al-Assad in Sochi.

The Iranian president said the aim of the tripartite summit in Sochi was to discuss peace in Syria and create conditions for the return of refugees.

Erdogan, for his part, said participants in the summit have agreed on the need to provide assistance to launch a broad, fair and free political process, led by the Syrians, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

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