By Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey, Russia, and Iran on Monday stressed their strong commitment to Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity in a joint statement following a trilateral meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara.
Security and stability in northeastern Syria can only be achieved on the basis of respect for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, said the statement after the meeting, hosted by Turkish President Erdogan with his Russian and Iranian counterparts Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani, guarantor countries in the Astana peace process.
The Syrian conflict can only be resolved through “Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254,” it added.
The three leaders rejected all attempts to “create new realities” on the ground in Syria under the pretext of fighting terrorism, said the statement, which also voiced the countries’ “determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries.”
The leaders also condemned the U.S. decision to recognize Syria's occupied Golan Heights as Israel territory, saying that in addition to violating international law it also threatens regional peace and security, according to the statement.
Turkey on Monday hosted the fifth trilateral summit on the turmoil in Syria in the Astana format, based on a process launched in 2017 in the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan, formerly Astana.
Before the summit, Erdogan met Putin and Rouhani in the Cankaya Palace in the capital Ankara.