Tehran, Damascus stress respect for Syria sovereignty, territorial integrity

Tehran, Karafarinane Eghtesad – Iranian and Syrian delegates to the Astana peace negotiations have stressed that Syria’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected.

The delegations held a bilateral meeting on Thursday on the second day of the 18th round of the Astana peace negotiations that were initiated by Russia, Iran and Turkey in 2017 to find a political solution to the years-long crisis in Syria.

The peace negotiations were initiated in Kazakhstan's capital which was called Astana back then.

The talks retained the same name of the Astana negotiations after Kazakhstan changed the name of its capital city to Nur-Sultan in 2019.

The ongoing Syrian peace talks are taking place in Nur-Sultan where the Iranian and Syrian delegations discussed the latest political and field developments in Syria.

According to Syria’s SANA news agency, the Iranian-Syrian discussions focused on a planned Turkish military operation in northern Syria, which Ankara says is aimed at eliminating Kurdish groups considered as terrorists by the Turkish government.

The Syrian delegates reiterated their country’s opposition to the Turkish operation, stressing that Damascus sees the operation as an act of aggression that violates international law.

They also said that the Turkish plan is in contrast to efforts so far made during the Astana talks to restore peace in Syria.

The Iranian delegation, led by Ali Asghar Khaji, a senior advisor to the Iranian foreign minister, echoed similar comments.

Khaji said that Iran rejects any Turkish act of aggression against Syria and calls for respecting the Arab country’s territorial integrity.

He added that such measures and threats only lead to an escalation in the region.

On Wednesday, the Iranian delegation also discussed the latest developments in Syria with the Russian delegation present at the Astana talks.

At the meeting with the Russian delegates, Khaji stressed that parties involved in the Astana talks should remain determined to find a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis that broke out in 2011.

The Iranian representative referred to the Israeli missile attack on Damascus International Airport earlier in June.

He condemned the attack that caused extensive damage to the airport and expressed concern over continued Israeli attacks on Syria.

Khaji also criticized Western states, especially the US, for politicizing the issue of humanitarian assistance to Syria, and called on them to dispatch aid to the country without any discrimination.

The Russian delegation, on its part, urged the West to review its policies on Syria, and also stressed the importance of keeping up cooperation with Iran on resolving the Syrian crisis.

The Russians emphasized the need for respecting Syria’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity as well.


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