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Russia's Putin urges Turkey, Iran to help promote dialogue in Syria

Reuters , Wednesday 1 Jul 2020
Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends by a video conference a trilateral meeting with the leaders of Iran and Turkey on the topic of Syria, in Moscow on July 1, 2020. (Photo: AFP)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin told his counterparts from Turkey and Iran on Wednesday that there was a need for peaceful dialogue between the opposing forces in Syria's civil war.

Putin also told Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan and Iran's Hassan Rouhani in a televised video conference that hot spots of terrorism still remain in Syria's Idlib and other regions.

"An inclusive inter-Syrian dialogue should be actively promoted within the framework of the constitutional committee in Geneva. I propose to support this process, to help the participants to meet and start a direct dialogue," Putin said.

In Syria's nine-year-old war, Russia and Iran are the main foreign supporters of President Bashar al-Assad's forces, while Turkey backs opposition fighters. Under a diplomatic process dating back to 2017, they agreed to work to reduce fighting.

In a joint statement released by the Kremlin, Russia, Turkey and Iran "expressed the conviction" that Syria's war had no military solution and has to be settled only via a political process.

They also welcomed a meeting of the Syrian constitutional committee in August.

Apart from the Syrian issue, the three countries agreed to promote their economic cooperation, the document said.

After worsening violence displaced nearly a million people, Turkey and Russia agreed in March to halt hostilities in northwest Syria's Idlib region. This month military jets bombed villages in the rebel-held area.

Erdogan also told the video conference that the priority for Syria is a lasting solution to the conflict, "achievement of calm in the field and the protection of Syria's political unity and territorial integrity".

"We will continue to do all we can so that our neighbour Syria finds peace, security and stability soon," he said. 

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