“From our viewpoint, the presence of foreign forces in Syria without authorization of the country’s government is illegal and must be stopped,” Rouhani said in Tehran on Tuesday ahead of his flight to the Turkish capital city of Ankara.
Rouhani and his Russian and Turkish counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, respectively, will discuss the ongoing situation in the war-torn Arab country on Wednesday.
The important point about the trilateral summit is total exclusion of Western countries, especially the United States, despite claims by Washington that it has been playing a leading role in the fight against terrorist groups in Syria.
The Iranian president pointed to the ongoing issues in Syria, including ethnic disputes, foreign support for terrorism and the US presence in the country, adding, “The Americans seek to prevent the Syrian government from taking control of all areas and they even think about partitioning the country.”
He also noted that Israel’s bombardment of the Syrian territories and Tel Avi regime’s support for terrorist groups have exacerbated the ongoing crisis in the country.
Rouhani underlined Iran’s position on Syria, including the need for the settlement of the crisis through dialogue, continuation of anti-terrorism campaign until complete eradication of all terrorist groups, and determination of the future of the country by the Syrian people without any foreign intervention.
The president also pointed to the humanitarian crises across Syria and called on the international community to deliver more aid to the people in the country.
The Ankara summit will be the second such meeting among the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey, as guarantors of ceasefire in Syria. Their first meeting on the issue was held in Russia’s resort city of Sochi on November 22 last year.
“The issue of reconstructing Syria as well as drawing up and amending a new Constitution are the key matters, which are important for the future of Syria and they will be discussed during the trilateral meeting,” Rouhani pointed out.
In the process of peace talks for Syria in the Kazakh capital city of Astana, Iran, Russia and Turkey helped set up de-escalation zones across Syria to reduce fighting on the ground.
The talks have featured the Syrian government and representatives of so-called opposition groups. Tehran and Moscow side with Damascus, while Turkey takes part on behalf of the Syrian opposition.