Sochi Deal on Syria Result of Intensive Responsible Diplomacy: Iran’s UN Envoy

Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gholam Ali Khoshroo praised a recent deal reached in the Russian resort city of Sochi between Moscow and Ankara to create a buffer zone in Syria’s Idlib, saying it is the outcome of “intensive responsible diplomacy”.

“The Sochi agreement is the result of intensive responsible diplomacy over the last few weeks in Ankara and Damascus, followed by the Iran-Russia-Turkey Summit in Tehran,” Khoshroo said, addressing the UN Security Council meeting on “the Middle East: Syria – Humanitarian” in New York on Tuesday.

Following is the full text of the envoy’s speech:

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Madam President,

The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes the agreement between Russia and Turkey to create a demilitarized buffer zone in Idlib province of Syria.

The Sochi agreement is the result of intensive responsible diplomacy over the last few weeks in Ankara and Damascus, followed by the Iran-Russia-Turkey Summit in Tehran.

The agreement is based on the Astana Process principled approach and spirit in creating de-escalation zones in order to reduce the possibility of civilian casualties while fighting against terrorists.

Stopping violence and bloodshed while eliminating terrorism in the area is one the most basic and principled positions in Iran’s foreign policy.

As President Rouhani stressed in Tehran Summit, combatting terrorism requires a comprehensive approach by taking into account all aspects of this unpleasant phenomenon. From this perspective, the fight against terrorism in Idlib is an integral part of the mission of restoring peace and stability to Syria, but this combat must not hurt the civilians.

The Russian – Turkish agreement is a right step in this direction. This is in line with the determination expressed by the Presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey in Tehran to continue cooperation to eliminate all terrorists while taking into consideration its humanitarian aspects.

As in Tehran Summit, the three leaders expressed their strong commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, this will enable Syria to restore its control over other parts of its territory. Like any other State, this is its inherent right.

The international community should welcome this agreement and positively contribute to its implementation.

We hope that this agreement, within the framework of the positive and successful Astana process and in a continuation to the recent Tehran Summit and diplomatic efforts by Iran, would quickly help end disasters for the Syrian people and cleanse the country of violent elements while taking into account humanitarian concerns.

Once again we stress on the need for the return of all refugees and internally displaced persons. This will undoubtedly contribute to the ceasefire and national dialogue and accelerate the reconciliation process.

It is also critical in advancing a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process. The right to determine the future of Syria belongs exclusively to Syrians.

To that end, cooperation towards establishing and launching the work of the Constitutional Committee is critical.

While Syria is passing through a critical stage in defeating terrorists and regaining its unity and territorial integrity, the international community should stand firm in breathing a new life into this country.

As the Islamic Republic of Iran supported Syria to defeat terrorists, it will play a constructive role in bringing peace and prosperity to this country.

In conclusion, with regard to the allegations of the US representative, I must stress that it is intended to cover up the failure of the US policies in Syria.

I thank you, Madam President.

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