The outcomes of the Iranian-Russian-Turkish summit on Syria revealed the continued divergence in the positions of its three parties, which was confirmed by the explicit rejection by Tehran and Moscow of any Turkish military move in the north of the country.
They warned of its impact on the stability of the region and the territorial integrity of Syria.
At the conclusion of the summit, which was devoted to discussing the Syrian file and the revival of the Astana process, the parties condemned the growing presence of terrorist organizations in various parts of Syria.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and their Iranian counterpart, Ibrahim Raisi, voiced their rejection of any attempt to create new facts on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism, and their determination to face separatist agendas and infiltration operations that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, as well as the national security of neighboring countries.
Erdogan has tried hard to persuade his Russian and Iranian counterparts to support a military operation he seeks to launch against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria, with the aim of establishing a 30-kilometer-deep safe zone that serves as a security belt on Turkey’s borders in the south.
However, the statement issued at the end of the summit, which concluded in Tehran on Tuesday, did not contain a reference to Russia and Iran’s approval of the Turkish request.
Some observers saw in the statement about “the increasing presence of terrorist organizations… in various regions of Syria,” as an attempt by Turkey to convince the actors in Syria that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, the largest component of the SDF, was a terrorist organization and forms an arm of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
However, the statements and warnings that emerged following Erdogan’s meetings with his Russian and Iranian counterparts, revealed rejection of the Turkish military operation as a threat to the stability of the region.
Following the summit, Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Hossein Abdollahian gave a new clear indication that a common position had not been reached with Turkey regarding the situation in northern Syria.
In a joint press conference on Wednesday with his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad, who arrived in Tehran a few hours after the tripartite summit, Abdollahian reiterated his country’s concern over the possibility of Turkey launching new military action inside Syrian territory.
The Iranian minister expressed his hope that Turkish officials would take into consideration the recommendations emphasized in the tripartite summit of the leaders of the guarantor states of the Astana process, noting that the high-level meeting has helped put the Syrian crisis on the path of a political solution.
In turn, Mekdad affirmed his country’s rejection of the possible Turkish attack under the pretext of establishing safe areas.
He said that Turkey had no interest in carrying out an attack on Syria, expressing Damascus’ satisfaction with what he described as “the efforts made by Iran to come up with a balanced statement at the Tehran summit.”
During a joint press conference with his Russian and Iranian counterparts at the conclusion of the Tehran summit, Erdogan stressed his country’s determination to continue its struggle against what he described as “terrorist organizations” and to eradicate “hot spots” in Syria
On the other hand, Putin said that the Syrians should decide the fate of their country for themselves, away from foreign interference. Raisi, for his part, said all foreign powers should leave Syria.