Warring sides in Syria urged to consider peaceful dialogue by Turkey's Erdogan, Russia's Putin and Iran's Rouhani at the first meeting since September in the so-called Astana format.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells the summit on Syria that Turkey does its best for peace, security, stability in the war-torn country.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells the summit on Syria that Turkey does its best for peace, security, stability in the war-torn country. (AA)

Leaders of Turkey, Russia, and Iran have called for a peaceful dialogue between warring sides in Syria while pledging to protect the territorial integrity of the war-torn country. 

"Maintaining the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria, the establishment of calm on the ground and a lasting solution to the conflict are our priorities," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a televised meeting with his Iranian and Russian counterparts on Syria on Wednesday. 

"We'll continue to do our best to provide peace, security, and stability in our neighbour Syria," he added.

Read more: Is this the end of the Turkey-Russia relationship in Syria?

Putin slams Caeser sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the United States for imposing new sanctions on Syria's regime during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Despite the call from the UN secretary general to ease sanctions under pandemic conditions, Washington, like Brussels, decided to prolong measures against Syria," Putin said in his speech. 

"In addition, new sanctions presumably aimed at economically suffocating Syria have been adopted," he said. 

Putin told his counterparts that there was a need for peaceful dialogue between warring sides in Syria and 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.

Rouhani: No military solution for Syria

"The Islamic Republic believes the only solution to the Syrian crisis is political and not a military solution," Rouhani said in a televised opening address.

"We continue to support the inter-Syrian dialogue and underline our determination to fight the terrorism of Daesh, Al Qaeda, and other related groups."

"I emphasise that the fight against terrorism will continue until it is completely eradicated in Syria and the region in general," he added.

Astana talks 

After delivering opening statements, the three presidents discussed Syria in private and also released a joint declaration.

The talks are the first since September in the so-called Astana format, in which the three powers discuss developments in Syria, where the conflict has entered its 10th year.

Iran and Russia have been staunch supporters of Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad, while Turkey has called for his ouster and backed opposition forces.

The conflict has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies