Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that Russia, Turkey, and Iran agreed on a “joint declaration” to find a solution in Syria.
Lavrov’s remarks came following a trilateral meeting on Syria with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts, Javad Zarif and Mevlut Cavusoglu in Moscow.
He said a joint declaration was agreed on to find a solution in Syria.
“Turkish-Russian-Iranian cooperation ensures the evacuation of civilians and armed groups from eastern Aleppo,” said Lavrov.
He said he hoped evacuations would end in one or two days.
“Russia, Iran, and Turkey confirm their determination to cooperate in combating the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra as well as in separating armed opposition groups from terrorists,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov said the trilateral format was effective.
“The most efficient and effective format for solving the Syrian crisis is our current trilateral format,” he added.
Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu said a total of 37,500 people have been evacuated from Aleppo so far.
“The best solution is a political solution. We believe in this. We have to focus on this,” said Cavusoglu.
Cavusoglu said the countries will continue their efforts for Syria.
“We will continue together to pursue our efforts to stop bloodshed in Syria, spread a permanent cease-fire throughout the country, and unhindered humanitarian aid,” he added.
He said they discussed expanding the cease-fire to the entire country.
“We can reach a solution in Syria if we sincerely implement the decisions taken,” said Cavusoglu.
He reiterated that Turkey supports the national unity and territorial integrity of all of its neighbors.
Iran’s Zarif said the international community should cooperate on counter-terrorism and that violence in Syria needs to be prevented.
Javad Zarif said “There is no military solution to the Syria conflict and the country’s crisis can only be solved through political approaches”.
“The evacuation of civilians and armed groups from some regions has succeeded thanks to the collaboration between Russia, Iran, and Turkey,” he added.
Zarif said he hoped a political solution could be reached in Syria. “We will strive to ensure territorial integrity and sovereignty,” he said.
In recent weeks, numerous reports have emerged of violence being perpetrated against civilians in Aleppo, once considered an opposition stronghold.
The evacuation process was temporarily suspended on Friday after pro-regime foreign terrorist groups attacked a civilian convoy leaving the city, resulting in a number of evacuees getting killed.
It resumed Monday under an earlier deal brokered by Turkey and Russia according to which some 20,000 civilians and fighters are to be evacuated from eastern Aleppo on Monday and Tuesday.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic Of Turkey, the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran, during their meeting, today, agreed on the following:
1. Iran, Russia, and Turkey reiterate their full respect for sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, non-sectarian, democratic and secular state.
2. Iran, Russia, and Turkey are convinced that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict. They recognize the essential role of the United Nations in the efforts to resolve this crisis in accordance with UNSC resolution 2254. The Ministers also take note of the decisions of the International Syria Support Croup (ISSG). They urge all members of the international community to cooperate in good faith in order to remove the obstacles on the way to implement the agreements contained in these documents.
3. Iran, Russia, and Turkey welcome joint efforts in Eastern Aleppo allowing for voluntary evacuation of civilians and organized departure of the armed opposition. The Ministers also welcome partial evacuation of civilians from Fuaa, Kafraia, Zabadani and Madaya. They commit to ensure the completion of the process without interruption and in a safe and secure manner. The Ministers express their gratitude to the representatives of ICRC and WHO for their assistance in evacuation.
4. The Ministers agree on the importance of expanding ceasefire, unhindered humanitarian assistance and free movement of civilians throughout the country.
5. Iran, Russia, and Turkey express their readiness to facilitate and become the guarantors of the prospective agreement, being negotiated, between the Syrian Government and the opposition. They invited all other countries with the influence on the situation on the ground to do the same.
6. They strongly believe that this Agreement will be instrumental to create the necessary momentum for the resumption of the political process in Syria in accordance with the UNSC resolution 2254.
7. The Ministers take note of the kind offer of the President of Kazakhstan to host relevant meetings in Astana.
8. Iran, Russia, and Turkey reiterate their determination to fight jointly against ISIL/DAESH and Al-Nusra and to separate from them armed opposition groups.
Turkish, Russian and Iranian Defense Ministers also met today
Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık went Moscow after terrorist action to Russian Ambassador.
“Regardless of who was behind the terrorist attack, it will become known, we will be sure to find them,” Isik said at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu. “I can assure you that all the information that we find and discover will be communicated to Russia,” Isik said.
“Russia, Iran and Turkey are ready to be guarantors for settlement of the Syrian crisis,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said before a meeting with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts.
Russia and Iran are on the opposite side of the Syrian conflict from Turkey, with Moscow and Tehran backing President Bashar al-Assad and Ankara supporting those seeking to topple him.
But Turkey and Russia have recently started working closely together to evacuate rebel fighters and civilians from war-battered Aleppo under a complex deal.
The Red Cross on Tuesday said that at least 25,000 people have left the eastern districts of Aleppo since evacuations began last week, and Lavrov said the process should be completed in two days at most.