Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Syria belongs to Syrian people, and no other country is allowed to decide about the future of the Arab country.
He underlined that the national sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and independence of Syria should be taken seriously by all states as the main demands of the Syrian people.
“The grand day of celebration in the region comes only after the war in Syria is over, terrorists are flushed out of the region, Syria’s gate is open to the Syrian displaced and Syrian people can decide about their future in a free election,” he was quoted as saying in a Farsi report by the president’s official website.
In a joint press conference with his Turkish and Russian counterparts following the Ankara Summit on Syria, Rouhani also said the region has been suffering from a major plight called terrorism.
“The terrorists trained and sponsored by certain states have not only damaged the ancient heritage of Syrian museums but also looted the country’s oil,” he noted.
The Iranian president said some big powers including the US have been seeking for years to use terrorist groups like ISIS as proxies to press ahead with their interests in the region.
“The great nations of Syria and Iraq backed by their friendly allies have managed to thwart the big powers’ plots. Though the remnants of ISIS are still scattered across the region, there is no comprehensive entity named ISIS anymore.”
He then added today the hope of regional nations to gain victory over the terrorists is more than ever.
“About 15 months ago, a summit was held in Kazakhstan capital Astana which paved the way for a truce and reducing tensions in four regions of Syria.”
President Rouhani said Iran, Turkey and Russia played a key role in the achievements and added following a number of other ministerial and expert meetings, the countries held their first summit in Russia’s Sochi back in November which led to considerable results including the establishment of a national congress among the opposition and Syrian government.
“This was the first step in the right direction which should be followed by further long strides. Since then, lots of developments have been unfolded in Syria including positive and negative but today, our hope for peace in Syria is more than ever and the Syrian displaced are hopeful to return to their homes in the near future.”
He expressed satisfaction with the results of Ankara Summit, saying during the summit, “constructive” discussions were made about Syria and its future.
“The climax of the summit came when the three countries agreed to expand their cooperation in providing the oppressed nation of Syria with further humanitarian aid.”
He reiterated that the Islamic Republic of Iran maintains that there is no military solution to Syria crisis and added political solution is only way out of the current situation.
“We should work together to put an end to the war in Syria and eradicate completely the remnants of the terrorists.”
The Iranian president described the humanitarian situation in Syria as “catastrophic” and said fight against terrorism should continue relentlessly till all terrorists are dislodged.
He underlined that no country is allowed to decide about the future of Syria and said as guarantors of the Syria ceasefire, Iran, Russia and Turkey will continue their efforts to restore peace to the war-torn country.
In response to a question about the US, Israel and their western allies’ efforts to hamper initiatives to establish peace and security in Syria, President Rouhani added as things stand, the enemies have failed in their projects in Syria including toppling Syrian government and making the terrorists dominant in Syria to press ahead with their regional interests.
“Since the beginning of war in Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran has called for fight against terrorism. We maintain that the geographical map of the region must not change at all and each nation should decide about its future itself.”
President Rouhani expressed hope that the enemies keep failing in their projects and stability be restored to Syria through joint efforts by the Ankara Summit attendant countries.
In response to another question on the US president’s claim to pull out American troops from Syria soon, he said the US officials change their words day by day.
“No one can trust the US officials due to their changing positions and the long distance between their words and actions. They first said we will pull out US forces from Syria but after a while it became clear that they are after money. So, they told the Arab states insisting on the US stay in Syria to give money. This means that they will remain in Syria after receiving more money for those Arab states.”
He also called for further support for Syrian refugees saying it is upon all Muslims as a religious duty to help the Syrian refugees.
President Rouhani thanked Turkey for its support for Syrian refugees and said Iran has always received refugees from its neighbouring countries over the past 40 years. He urged the European countries to fulfill their promises to support the Syrian refugees.
Iran, Turkey, Russia Reach Consensus on Syria
For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during Ankara Summit, the three countries reached consensus on Syria and added Syria’s territorial integrity should be preserved under any conditions and fight against terrorism should turn into the first priority of all states.
He blamed the terrorist groups in Syria over making divisions in the country and added Turkey is committed to cooperate with other regional states to resolve Syria crisis.
The Turkish president noted that unrest in Syria means unrest in Turkey and added as neighbours of Syria, the three countries of Iran, Turkey and Russia will not allow chaos not only in Syria but the whole region.
Iran, Turkey, Russia Call for Preserving Territorial Integrity of Syria
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin underlined that the three countries reached good points to resolve Syria crisis and added during the summit they insisted on the urgency of preserving the territorial integrity of Syria.
Putin also noted that this is the Syrians who should decide about the fate of their country.
“The national dialogue of Syria should be held in line with the UN Security Council resolutions on Syria.”
He also warned about politicization of humanitarian aid to Syrians and added his country is completely ready to play a leading role in the reconstruction of Syria.