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Turkish, Russian, Iranian lawmakers discuss Syria

It was first trilateral meeting at parliamentary level to contribute to regional peace, security and stability

Elena Teslova   | 10.04.2019
Turkish, Russian, Iranian lawmakers discuss Syria


Turkish, Russian and Iranian lawmakers on Wednesday discussed the Syrian peace process during their first meeting in Moscow, head of Russian parliamentary delegation said.

Leonid Slutsky, head of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, said the members of parliaments from three countries showed unity for the Syrian settlement.

"The sides supported the convening in the nearest future of a major inter-parliamentary conference regarding repatriation of the Syrian refugees," he said.

Slutsky said the date, the place and participants of the conference were not "the question of today", but it is necessary to engage in collaboration the parliaments of Jordan, Lebanon and other countries where there is an intense concentration of the Syrian refugees.

In this context, the parties also discussed the restoration of infrastructure in Syria necessary for repatriation, as well as that of the world heritage sites, the lawmaker said.

The Syrian issue was not the only one on the agenda, he said, adding the conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen were also on the table.

Stance on Golan Heights

Turkey, Russia and Iran stressed the necessity to secure the territorial integrity of Syria, including the Golan Heights. This point will be included in the communique of the meeting, according to Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, head of the Iranian Parliament's Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy.

He said the three countries were united in opposing the U.S.’s unilateral action in this regard, referring to Washington’s decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

Falahatpisheh, thanked Russian and Turkish military forces for their fight against terrorism in Syria.

Speaking about the U.S. decision to blacklist Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, he said it was "nothing else but terrorism".

"We thank Turkey for hosting Syrian refugees and we think that the foreign troops, the U.S. troops in particular, must leave the country. We started our work here from the Syrian problem, but we will not limit ourselves by this question," he said.

‘Historic’ meeting

Turkish Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee head Volkan Bozkir called the meeting in Moscow a "historic” one.

"In the situation when the world is enflamed […] alliances and blocks are falling apart, Russia, Iran and Turkey manage to get together in this difficult historic moment to demonstrate determination and readiness to look for common approaches and to act together, this is an important step," Bozkir said.

Bozkir said one of the most important issue during the talks was necessity of preserving Syrian territorial integrity. The issue of holding elections in this country was also discussed, he added.

"We represent the three countries which suffered most from the terrorism in Syria and Iraq. But thank God we managed to localize the emerging of the terrorist threat," he said.

Volkan Bozkir said if more countries were interested in parliamentary cooperation, it would be possible to accelerate the refugees return.

"All the three countries confirmed their adherence to the Astana decisions and expressed support to the Geneva decision to form the constitutional committee and spoke in favor of working and doing everything necessary to accelerate this process," he said.

5 major principles

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs said Russian, Turkish and Iranian lawmakers worked out five major principles regarding the Syrian settlement.

These points can be applied to other conflicts, he said.

"First of all, it is recognition of the Syrian sovereignty and of the Syrian people right to decide the fate of their country independently.

"Second, the recognition of the Syrian territorial integrity and entitlement of different ethnic and religious groups with equal rights.

"Third principle is providing the security throughout the entire territory of the country, elimination of the terrorism, prohibition of use of mass destruction weapons, counteraction to drugs trafficking.

"Fourth, collective efforts on refugees repatriation.

"And the final, fifth principle is to help in Syria's restoration and refusal of the Western sanctions," Kosachev said.

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