Steven Sahiounie, journalist and political commentator
On March 11, the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey, and Qatar met in a trilateral effort to push for a political resolution to the 10-year-old conflict in Syria. They held a joint press conference in Doha and issued a broad statement concerning the future of Syria, and their joint commitment to the UN peace process under resolution 2254.
The trio emphasized their commitment to preserving the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Syria while stating that the only solution to the conflict was a political settlement, while all agreed on fighting terrorism which is part of the UN charter.
The next meeting will be held in Turkey, and later in Moscow. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's said, "This is the first meeting at foreign ministers' level on the Syrian crisis. We emphasized the importance of a political solution to the Syrian crisis, and this meeting is not an alternative to the Astana path."
The joint statement:
1. to preserve the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic under the UN Charter.
2. no military solution, only a political solution in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and Geneva Communique of 2012.
3. to combat terrorism and stand against separatist agendas.
4. to support the role of the Constitutional Committee without foreign interference.
5. to support the efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Syria, Geir Pedersen.
6. to support the Covax initiative, and prioritize vaccination inside Syria.
7. to increase humanitarian assistance to all Syrians throughout the country.
8. the safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons.
9. the release of detainees.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the three countries were not seeking to replace the Astana process, in which Turkey, Russia, and Iran had jointly been meeting since 2017, to reduce fighting in Syria and discuss a political solution.
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