No country can exclude others in Syrian peace talks: Jaberi Ansari
Iranian foreign minister’s special assistant for political affairs, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, while highlighting Iran’s leading role in the Syrian peace process ,said no county can keep other nations out of the peace talks.
Iran Press- Iran news/ Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Wednesday, Jaberi Ansari reacted to some hostile media reports about Iran’s absence in a recent Syria meeting in Turkey and said, “No country can exclude other countries and Iran’s role in Syria and Astana peace process and the peace in that country is based on reality and heeded by Turkey and other actors.”
He made the remarks after a trilateral meeting with senior experts of Russia and Turkey attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Tasnim news agency reported.
“With all its power and seriousness, Iran has sided with the Syrian government over the past years, and has made efforts for two years to materialize the idea of peace within the framework of Astana negotiations and its other international communications,” the diplomat said.
"There are many meetings around the globe, and this is normal, so holding a meeting anywhere in the world will not change the political and geopolitical realities,” he added.
The remarks came as Syrian forces continue to reclaim much of southern parts of the country and are poised to soon launch an offensive in Idlib, one of the last remaining areas outside of Damascus’ control.
Conflict erupted in Syria back in 2011, when a small group of opposition forces took up arms against Damascus. Soon, however, a mix of international terrorists and paid mercenaries mingled with and then largely sidestepped the armed Syrian opposition groups, effectively turning the Arab country into a battlefield for foreign governments opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
But the Syrian military, with advisory military help from Iran and Russia — and a Russian aerial bombardment campaign — has retaken control of much of the country, and the conflict is generally believed to be winding down.
On October 13, criticizing the illegal US military presence in Syria, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has stressed that Washington’s practices east of the Euphrates River are unacceptable.
Earlier on Sep 4, 2018, Iran's deputy foreign minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said that Astana negotiations comprising the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey and Russia is making good progress in the fight against terrorism, and lessening of tensions.
Furthermore, on Aug 14, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia sees the intentions of the US and the West who want to impede the Astana process for settlement of the Syrian conflict.
Speaking to journalists in Ankara, Lavrov said: "We won’t probably see any direct linkage with the Syrian crisis in the statements made by the US side when it declares sanctions against our countries (Russia, Iran and Turkey). But objectively, of course we feel the wish of the West, and first of all the US but not only the US, to prevent the Astana process from achieving concrete results and present it as not quite successful," he said. "These attempts were seen earlier, and most likely they will continue," the top Russian diplomat added.
Furthermore, on April 29, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also described Astana Process as the only successful international initiative for the settlement of Syrian crisis, saying that some instead of joining the process are trying to isolate it.
Iran, alongside Russia and Turkey, is a guarantor of the ceasefire regime in Syria. The three guarantor states initiated the Astana Process on January 23, 2017, establishing de-escalation zones in an effort to restore calm in the region and improve the humanitarian situation in war-torn Syria.
The United States, France and Britain earlier (April 14, 2018) attacked Syria on the pretext of using chemical weapons by Damascus.