Turkey, Russia, and Iran will continue working together to combat terrorism in Syria, the three guarantor countries of the Astana process said in a joint statement adopted at the 18th Astana Format International meeting on Syria in the Kazakh capital Nur Sultan on Thursday.
The three countries rejected “illegitimate self-rule initiatives under the pretext of combatting terrorism” and “stand against separatist agendas in the east of the Euphrates aimed at undermining the unity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighbouring countries”, they said.
The guarantors said northeastern Syrian self-rule initiatives were “terrorist entities”, and expressed concern over the actions of what they called “separatist groups”.
Ankara, Moscow and Tehran will continue to cooperate against terrorism, and stand against separatist agendas in Syria, they said. “These separatist groups aimed at undermining Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as threatening the national security of neighbouring countries.”
The cooperation between the three countries will continue in order to ultimately eliminate the Islamic State (ISIS), Al Qaeda offshoot Al Nusra and all other individuals, groups, enterprises and organisations associated with Al Qaeda, ISIS, or “other terrorist groups”, they said.
The talks also focused on the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their original places of residence in Syria, in accordance with international law. The guarantors called for support from the international community to provide Syrians with the necessary assistance.
The Astana peace process to end Syria’s decade-long civil war was launched in January 2017 as an initiative of Turkey, Russia and Iran.
Syrian Kurds have mostly been excluded from the talks, which they have strongly objected to.