Syria’s Al-Jaafrai: Turkey Wouldn’t Commit to Its Obligations in Line with De-Escalation Zones Agreement
Head of Syrian Arab Republic delegation to Astana 7th meeting, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, said that Turkey wouldn’t commit to its obligations in line with the de-escalation zones agreement, noting that this matter was discussed with the Russian and Iranian guarantors.
“During this round, we met with the Russian and Iranian sides. Our meetings were always constructive and fruitful, and we talked about Astana 6th meeting and what was and wasn’t implemented in it,” al-Jaafari said in a press conference following the plenary session of Astana current meeting.
He pointed out to the agreement reached in Astana latest meeting on establishing a de-escalation zone in Idlib province on condition that “the armed factions”, located east of Abu al-Dohour, would withdraw 3 km to the west of this road and that all sides will participate in combating Nusra Front and eliminating it, internationally classified as a terrorist organization, and that Russia and Iran will send observers to supervise the cease-fire in that area.
“But, what has happened since Astana 6th meeting is that the Turkish forces infiltrated with their armored vehicles, in cooperation and coordination with al-Nusra Front, into the Syrian territory in contrary to its obligations under the agreement of de-escalation zones among the guarantor states,” al-Jaafari said.
He added “We raised that issue with the Russian and Iranian guarantors during this session and they affirmed to us that all the guarantors must abide by their commitments,” al-Jaafari said.
Al-Jaafari went on to say that the Syrian Arab Republic considers the presence of any military forces on its territory without the approval of the Syrian government as an occupation and aggression, and it will be dealt with on this basis.
Earlier, the Syrian Arab Republic delegation held a meeting with Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov in Astana on Tuesday in the framework of 7th Astana meeting on Syria.
Both sides discussed issues of the agenda of Astana-7 meeting, in addition to assessment of what have been achieved in Astana-6 meeting held last month.
A close source to the meeting told SANA correspondent in Astana that difficulties and obstacles which hindered implementation of the outcomes of Astana-6 meeting, particularly in regard to establishment of de-escalation zone in Idlib, were also touched upon during the meeting.
The source said that the Syrian Arab delegation briefed the Kazakh side on the latest developments in Syria, particularly pertaining to fighting terrorism.
Both sides agreed on continuing communication till the end of activities of Astana-7 meeting to come out with best possible outcomes, according to the source.
Earlier, delegations of the guarantor states, Russia, Iran and Turkey, held a tripartite meeting.
An expert-level meeting was also held for discussing issues of the agenda of Astana-7 meeting which is scheduled to wrap up activities with a plenary meeting today afternoon.
On Monday, the Syrian Arab Republic delegation headed by al-Jaafari held two separate consultative meetings with the Iranian delegation headed by Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hussein Jaberi Ansari and the Russian delegation headed by Russian president’s special envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev.