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Russia, Iran express support for Damascus’ efforts to combat terrorism

The Russian and Iranian presidents stress the international anti-terrorist coalition must avoid double standards and show respect to the sovereignty of states hit by terrorism
Russian and Iranian Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani Sergei Karpukhin/Pool photo via AP
Russian and Iranian Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani
© Sergei Karpukhin/Pool photo via AP

MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. Moscow and Tehran are committed to resolving the Syrian crisis by political and diplomatic means, while expressing strong support for Damascus’ efforts in the fight against terrorists, Russian and Iranian Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani, said in a statement following talks in the Kremlin on Tuesday.

"While respecting Syria’s independence, unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity and proceeding from the principled stance that there is no alternative to tackling the Syrian problem by peaceful means, Russia and Iran spoke out in favor of resolving the conflict in Syria by political and diplomatic means on the basis of the principles set forth in UN Security Council Resolution 2254," the statement said.

At the same time, Putin and Rouhani expressed strong support for the efforts "made by the Syrian authorities, the army and people’s militia over the past six years aimed at the fight against terrorism, specifically, the Islamic State (terror group, outlawed in Russia), Jabhat al-Nusra and other groups affiliated with them."

The two countries’ presidents also "noted the work by Russia, Iran and Turkey in a trilateral framework, which created conditions for holding the intra-Syrian dialogue in Astana and ensured the possibility of establishing effective and sustainable ceasefire in Syria." "The two sides see such cooperation as an important step towards the success of the UN-backed Geneva talks," the joint statement said.

The Russian and Iranian presidents "supported efforts aimed at preventing and resolving crises in the Middle East and North Africa through an inclusive national dialogue in compliance with the norms of international law."

 Russia and Iran are confident that an international anti-terrorist coalition must avoid double standards and show respect to the sovereignty of states hit by terrorism.

"Special attention was focused on issues of creating a broad international anti-terrorist coalition that would act without double standards on the basis of international law, first of all the United Nations Charter, with due respect to sovereignty of states directly affected by terrorist attacks," the document says.

The two presidents stressed their commitment to expand cooperation within the United Nations and other international and regional organizations.

"Russia and Iran believe that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, regional and global stability and sustainable development and stress that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustified, regardless of when and what for they were committed," the statement has it.

The Russian and Iranian president stressed the necessity of rebuffing terrorism, including by means of consolidating international efforts to prevent violent extremism and hailed the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE). "They also insist on the necessity of global efforts to counteract the ideas of Takfirism as a major trigger pushing the youth towards terrorist groups," the leaders said in the statement.

Putin and Rouhani also commended United Nations General Assembly 70/291 of July 1, 2016 passed after a regular review of the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which stresses the necessity of pooling efforts of states to repel terrorism and violent extremism as a serious breeding ground for terrorism, on the basis of international law, the United Nations Charter and with well-balanced implementation of the Strategy and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Russia-Iran-Turkey cooperation

Russia, Iran and Turkey have made a major contribution to the Syrian settlement, Putin said.

"Participation of Russia and Iran, along with Turkey, as guarantor countries in the Astana talks between the delegations of the Syrian armed opposition and the Syrian government is a major contribution to the further progress of peaceful political settlement in Syria. It promotes the intra-Syrian talks and the corresponding United Nations-mediated process in Geneva," he said after talks with his visiting Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.

Putin noted that Russia’s and Iran’s positions on many issues of global politics "are rather close." "We believe it is important to further expand cooperation in combating international terrorism. Russia and Iran are coordinating their steps to exterminate Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra and to promote Syrian settlement," the Russian president said, adding that the ceasefire has been established in most of Syria thanks to joint efforts.

According to the Russian leader, among the topics for discussion at his talks with the Iranian president was the situation in Afghanistan and the importance of national reconciliation in that country.

Putin noted that Russia supports Iran’s plans to establish closer cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Apart from that, in his words, they agreed that it is necessary to swiftly finalize the convention of the legal status of the Caspian Sea.

Summing up the result of his talks with Rouhani, Putin described them as "comprehensive and resultative." He also asked his Iranian counterpart to convey his best wishes to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.