No: 231, 2 August 2019, Press Release Regarding The High-level Meeting On Syria Held In Nur-sultan On 1-2 August 2019

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 02.08.2019

The thirteenth round of the high-level meetings on Syria was held on 1-2 August 2019 in Nur-Sultan. Developments on the ground, particularly in the Idlib de-escalation area and efforts to find a political solution to the conflict were discussed in the meeting.

The parties have reiterated their commitment to the Sochi Memorandum of 17 September 2018, in order to preserve Idlib’s de-escalation area status and to stabilize the region. They deplored the increasing civilian casualties as a result of the attacks and agreed to take concrete steps for securing their military personnel in the area. Turkey has expressed grave concern for regime’s deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure under the pretext of combating terrorism and has stressed its expectation that these attacks must cease immediately.

In the meeting, the parties expressed satisfaction on the progress towards the establishment of the Constitutional Committee. They reiterated their commitment to conclude the formation of the Committee at the earliest and to convene it in Geneva. Turkey has reconfirmed its support to the ongoing efforts to this end, in close coordination with the Syrian opposition and the United Nations.

The parties rejected separatist agendas that pose threat to the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the national security of the neighboring countries. They further stressed their objection to all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives.

The Working Group on the Release of Detainees/Abductees, Handover of Bodies and Identification of Missing Persons has also convened in the margins of the meeting. Turkey has stressed its expectation to respect the Working Group’s rules of procedure for future operations of mutual and simultaneous release of persons detained by the opposition groups and the regime.

The parties welcomed the participation of neighbouring countries, Iraq and Lebanon, for the first time to the high-level meetings on Syria as observers.

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