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Astana talks: Parties reaffirm commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, condemn ‘israel’s’ aggression

Participants at the 18th international summit on Syria in the Astana format have reaffirmed their strong commitment to Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and announced their firm opposition to Israeli’s aggression and atrocities in the war-torn country, Syrian state news agency Sana reported Thursday.

In a statement on the second day of Astana talks, the countries sponsoring the summit, including Iran, Russia, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq condemned “the increasing presence and activities of terrorist organizations” in Syria and vowed to combat it and “stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

The statement also condemned “the terrorist attacks on civilian facilities,” reiterating the need to continue cooperation to “ultimately eliminate ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and all other individuals, groups and entities associated with al-Qaeda.”

The guarantor states condemned “the continuation of the Israeli military aggressions”, and called on the regime to cease its atrocities.

They stressed that the Israeli attacks “violate international law, international humanitarian law and the sovereignty of Syria and neighboring countries, and endanger stability and security in the region”.

The new round of peace talks on Syria commenced on Wednesday. Apart from five main countries, it is also attended by a United Nations delegation, a Jordanian delegation, representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Iran and Russia, as the allies of the Syrian government, as well as Turkey, which sides with the opposition, set up the Astana peace process in January 2017 intending to put an end to the Syrian conflict through the involvement of the Syrian government and the opposition.

According to the joint statement, the next Astana meeting on Syria will be held in Kazakhstan in the second half of this year.

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