Türkiye, Russia, Iran and other participants condemn activities of terrorist groups in Syria, and voice opposition to attempts to create "illegitimate self-rule initiatives" in the war-torn country.

Kazakhstan's capital Astana hosts the 19th round of trilateral talks between Türkiye, Iran and Russia for the political settlement in war-hit Syria.
Kazakhstan's capital Astana hosts the 19th round of trilateral talks between Türkiye, Iran and Russia for the political settlement in war-hit Syria. (AA)

Türkiye has briefed Russia, Iran, and other interlocutors on its latest air operation in northern Iraq and Syria at the 19th round of the International Meeting on Syria under the Astana format, with the parties voicing "grave concern" over increasing hostilities east of the Euphrates River.

The two-day meeting was held in Kazakhstan's capital Astana on Tuesday and Türkiye emphasised its "determination in the fight against terrorism."

"Our interlocutors offered their condolences for the terror attack conducted in Istanbul. The political process, work of the Constitutional Committee, the situation on the ground, return of refugees and humanitarian issues were also discussed at the meeting," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Noting that a joint statement was adopted after the meeting, the ministry said the parties "emphasised their strong support to Syria's territorial integrity, the leading role of the Astana Process in the peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis, their determination to fight against the separatist agendas that pose threat to the national security of neighbouring countries, including cross-border attacks and infiltrations."

The participants "condemned the increased presence and activities of terrorist groups and their affiliates under different names in Syria," and noted "the necessity to fully implement all arrangements related to the north of Syria as well as Idlib."

The parties to the Astana talks agreed that "all attempts to create illegitimate self-rule initiatives under the pretext of combating terrorism are unacceptable," the statement said, adding they also "condemned the actions of countries that support terrorist entities including these initiatives."

READ MORE: Astana meeting discusses Syria crisis

Political settlement

In the joint declaration, the parties "expressed grave concern with increasing hostilities and all forms of oppression by the separatist groups against civilians in the east of Euphrates, including through suppression of peaceful demonstrations, forced conscription, and discriminatory practices in the field of education."

The participants reaffirmed their commitment to the end of the Syrian conflict through a viable and lasting Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254, and "emphasised the important role of the Constitutional Committee in the political settlement of the Syrian conflict," the Foreign Ministry statement added.

While bilateral meetings were held with the observer members of the Astana Process, and UN agencies, the ministry said "a meeting of Working Group on the Release of Detainees/Abductees, Handover of Bodies and Identification of Missing Persons is also held. It is agreed to continue such activities within the Working Group."

The Astana format talks were launched in 2017 in a bid to restore peace and stability in the Arab country, which has been ravaged by war since 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

The last Astana format talks on Syria were held in June.

Source: AA