Oct 30, 2019, 8:52 AM
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Zarif says Iranian presence in Syria warrants Damascus request

Tehran, Oct 30, IRNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that presence of Iran and Russia warrants a request to that effect by the Syrian Government.

According to Russian media 'TASS', Zarif made the remarks in the joint press conference with Russian and Turkish counterpart.

"The Syrian Constitutional Committee will undertake its mandate tomorrow, and it will initiate a long-awaited difficult process of political settlement of the humanitarian crisis in Syria", he said.

He added: "It is important that this process is acceptable for the Syrian people and will indicate their efforts and hard work, so that it does not look like it was imposed from outside."

"The process of political resolution of the Syrian crisis became possible thanks to guarantors in Astana process [Russia, Iran, Turkey] and efforts by UN Special Envoy for Syria [Geir Pedersen]," he noted.

"All three states insist on maintaining Syria's territorial integrity," Iranian top diplomat reiterated.

Zarif went on to say: "Iran is confident that Syria's territory should be controlled by the Syrian forces and government, which will bear responsibility for ensuring security in the country and along borders."

"The international community should support political settlement of the Syrian conflict. There is no military solution to the Syrian crisis," he added.

"There are other issues, including the humanitarian problem, the issue of prisoners and refugees, who should successfully return to their homes," Zarif said adding: "It is important "not to over-estimate the significance of the Constitutional Committee whose task is to improve the constitution."

According to Iran's Foreign Ministry, the trio's foreign ministers as the guarantors of Astana Format held a trilateral meeting in Geneva on October 26, 2019 where they also sat down for talks with the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen.

In their closing statement they stressed strong commitments of the guarantors regarding Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity which should be respected by all. They also reiterated their strong commitment to fight terrorism and counter separatist efforts in Syria.

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