Turkey, Russia, Iran vow to boost cooperation on Syria
Turkey, Russia and Iran decided to bolster cooperation in Syria, Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Akylbek Kamaldinov said Wednesday.
Reading a joint statement following the second day of third round peace talks over the Syrian conflict in the capital Astana, Kamaldinov said the parties emphasized their determination to strengthen the cease-fire in Syria.
“They agreed on reporting cease-fire violations [in Syria], ensuring a decrease in breaches and bolstering the effectiveness of the trilateral monitoring mechanism,” he said, Press TV reported.
Kamaldinov said they also agreed that Iran would join Turkey and Russia as an “official” guarantor of the cease-fire, Anadolu News Agency reported.
The Astana talks, which focused on the cease-fire that came into effect on Dec. 30, have been brokered by Turkey, which backs the opposition, and Russia and Iran, who support the Syrian government.
Following the Dec. 30 cease-fire, the first round of Astana talks were held on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24. There, Turkey, Russia and Iran established a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the cease-fire in Syria.
Kamaldinov said the next meeting in Astana will be held on May 3 and May 4. He added a preparatory meeting will be held in Tehran on April 17 and April 19.
He said the parties agreed to work on protecting historical artifacts in Syria, which are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations expressed satisfaction with the latest round of the intra-Syrian negotiations, saying the discussions were “constructive.”
Bashar al-Jaafari, who also serves as the head of the Syrian delegation to the peace talks, announced on Wednesday that he was concluding his participation in the negotiations organized by Iran, Russia, and Turkey.
An official paper was produced on demining the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, which was fully liberated Palmyra from the grip of the Daesh terrorist group earlier this month, he added.
The negotiations started on Tuesday with a meeting between the UN and Russian delegations, and continued with more consultations among the representative teams.
The armed foreign-backed opposition had earlier boycotted this round of the talks, claiming they had to first make sure about Damascus and its allies’ adherence to the cease-fire.
On Wednesday, however, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry said the militants’ delegation would come to Astana to attend the negotiations at night.