After a tripartite summit in Ankara, the Turkish, Russian and Iranian presidents stressed their joint resolve to oppose separatism as well as the use of terrorism as an excuse for changing Syria. The statement followed a two-hour closed-door meeting among Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. They emphasized their strong and continued commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity, territorial integrity and non-sectarian character. In the statement, they “expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as the national security of neighboring countries.” The leaders “expressed their conviction that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that the conflict could be ended only through a negotiated political process.”
They believe in an agreement to form a Constitutional Committee, supported by the UN Secretary-General and the international community. They reiterated “the necessity to assist the Syrians in restoring the unity of their country and in achieving a political solution of the ongoing conflict through an inclusive, free, fair and transparent Syrian-led and Syrian-owned process based on the free will of the Syrian people and leading to a constitution enjoying the support of the Syrian people, and free and fair elections with the participation of all eligible Syrians under appropriate UN supervision”. The presidents also reaffirmed their determination to continue their active cooperation on Syria for the achievement of a lasting cease-fire. The three countries will continue cooperation in the fight against terrorism and their efforts to ensure calm on the ground and protect civilians in the de-escalation areas. They stressed that the creation of de-escalation areas was temporary as provided for under a May 2017 memorandum. The statement also took note of developments on Syria since their previous meeting last November in Sochi.