The presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia and Turkey issued a joint statement, reaffirming the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and agreed to continue to work together until the final defeat of the terrorist groups.

The joint statement, which was released on Wednesday evening and at the end of the Sochi Summit in the capitals of the three countries, has been signed by Dr Hassan Rouhani, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The text of the joint statement by the Presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey is as follows:

Mr Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, M. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey, attended a tripartite summit on 22 November 2017 in Sochi, and emphasised their firm will to continue active cooperation between the three countries of Iran, Russia and Turkey in order to maintain peace and stability in Syria, as envisaged by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.

The Presidents expressed their satisfaction with the current trilateral coordination to maintain and strengthen the ceasefire in Syria, guaranteed by Iran, Russia and Turkey.

The presidents expressed that after years of international efforts set by the UN Security Council to defeat the terrorist groups in Syria, the achievements of the 11 months after the establishment of the ceasefire regime on December 29, 2016 helped to destroy ISIS, the al-Nusra Front and other terrorist organisations designated by the United Nations Security Council. They also agreed that Iran, Russia and Turkey would continue to work together until the final defeat of these groups.

The Presidents stressed that the establishment of tension-reduction zones in Syria through the Astana process has been very effective, and has significantly contributed to reducing violence, alleviating human suffering, limiting refugee status and initiating efforts to secure conditions for the safe return of refugees and internally displaced persons.

The Presidents acknowledged that the Astana framework and its achievements have become an effective tool for helping peace and stability in Syria.

They decided that Iran, Russia and Turkey would continue to coordinate their efforts to ensure progress in reducing violence and stopping its return. They agreed to help Syrians return unity to their country and a political solution to the crisis through a comprehensive, free, fair and transparent Syrian-Syrian process that leads to the draft a constitution with the support of Syrians and free and fair elections with participation all people in Syria under the proper supervision of the United Nations.

The heads of the three countries reaffirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, and emphasised that under no circumstances should the tension-reduction zones mentioned above or any political initiative for resolving the Syrian crisis, undermine sovereignty, independence, unity and the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Presidents called on the representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic and the opposition groups that are committed to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, to have constructive attendance at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress to be held in Sochi in the near future. They also agreed to actively contribute to the success of this congress. Iran, Russia and Turkey will consult and agree on the participants in this congress.

The Presidents stressed the need for quick, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian aid, as well as the need for confidence-building measures from the Syrian parties, including the release of detainees/abductees and the delivery of bodies, as well as the identification of the missing in order to create better conditions for the political process and durable ceasefire. They urged the members of the international community to support the process of reducing tension and stabilising in Syria, including by providing more assistance to the Syrian people, as well as facilitating demining, preservation of the historical heritage and reconstruction of basic infrastructure, including economic and social ones.

The Presidents expressed hope that progress in solving the Syrian crisis through cooperation between Iran, Russia and Turkey would have a positive impact on improving the overall conditions in the region and reduce the risk of ethnic and sectarian divisions.

The presidents decided to meet again if necessary.

The Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Turkey appreciated Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, for hosting the tripartite summit in Sochi.