Moscow, SANA- Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Dr.Fayssal Mikdad affirmed that Syria’s main goal is to end the illegitimate military presence on its lands in all its forms, including the Turkish forces, stressing that without progress in this matter, we will not reach any real results.
“We appreciated the efforts of friends in the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran to facilitate the holding of this meeting”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Dr. Fayssal Mikdad, said during the quadripartite meeting of Syria, Turkey, Russia and Iran held Wednesday in Moscow.
Mikdad stressed that “Syria is ready to engage in an open and constructive manner based on our constant conviction that dialogue and discussion are the best way to reach the desired goals, as long as this is based on mutual respect for the state’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and not interference in its internal affairs,”.
“Thanks to our joint efforts, the Astana process achieved many positive results on the ground, and succeeded in resolving some issues while it faltered in resolving other issues. But we are now in the process of a new, different formula that we hope will be more dynamic in dealing with the various issues that concern us.” Mikdad added.
The Minister clarified “Syria and Turkey have long borders, common goals and interests, and despite all the negatives of the past years, there is an opportunity to work jointly by the two countries with the help and support of Russian and Iranian friends to achieve these goals and interests in a way that serves the aspirations of the two peoples in the two countries”.
Mikdad said, “We look forward to the future in our relations with other countries, but in a way that preserves the rights of the Syrian people and their national interests that cannot be compromised or bargained over.”
He added, “It has become clear to everyone that the main goal for us in this regard is to end the illegitimate military presence on Syrian territory, and this of course includes the Turkish forces, and without progress in this matter, we will remain in place and will not reach any real results, and in all cases we will continue to work, demand and insist on the issue of withdrawal.
“I have read statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister saying that terrorist organizations will fill the vacuum in the event of the withdrawal of Turkish forces, and that this will pose a threat to Turkey’s security. Commenting on that, I would like to clarify that what we are asking for is that there be a clear public acknowledgment from Turkey that it will withdraw its forces from Syria, and accordingly an agreement is reached on practical steps to implement this in an organized, coordinated and agreed upon manner,” Mikdad went on to say.
The Foreign Minister clarified that there are permanent statements by Turkish officials that Turkey supports Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and that Turkey has no ambitions in any inch of the Syrian lands, but unfortunately until now we have not witnessed any practical application or Turkish will in this direction, and therefore we hope that we will be able to Today’s meeting aims to achieve something tangible about that, in order to get out of the circle of words to deeds.
Mikdad referred to several points on how to move forward in the aforementioned path and in accordance with a constructive approach based on principles and procedures consistent with international law and good dialogue relations, and the points include agreeing to adopt the following principles:
Full and true commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Syrian Arab Republic, land and people, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, particularly non-interference in internal affairs, and the need to work to respect and implement this principle on the ground.
Acknowledging the necessity for all illegitimate foreign forces to leave Syrian territory, including Turkish forces, and to re-establish state authority over all of its lands.
The need to combat all terrorist organizations on Syrian territory, and eliminate them under their various names, as all these organizations pose a threat to Syria and other countries.
Reject all separatist projects and agendas in Syria, whatever their form, and work to confront them and fight the organizations that adopt them by all possible means.
Joint cooperation and coordination is the way to address security concerns, control borders, and achieve sustainable security and stability in the border areas between Syria and Turkey, while excluding any illegal unilateral measures.
On the basis of the previous points, it is possible, according to Mikdad:
Discuss ways of joint action and coordination to confront the separatist organizations in northeastern Syria, prevent the dangers they pose to Syria and Turkey, and stop the external support they receive.
Joint coordination to address the security concerns of both countries, including working to control the common borders, and taking measures to prevent smuggling and the infiltration of terrorists across them.
Cooperating in the safe and voluntary return of Syrian refugees from Turkey to their homeland, including through support from the United Nations and its relevant specialized agencies, and securing funding to meet the necessary requirements for this return, and that the Syrian side is ready to take the measures that fall upon it accordingly.
Discussing means of cooperation to stop the illegal seizure and transfer of Syrian oil and its revenues, which should be owned by the Syrian Arab Republic.
At the end of his speech, Mikdad affirmed that all the previous ideas and points, particularly the issue of the withdrawal of the Turkish forces, are consistent with international law, the Charter of the United Nations, and with the final statements issued by the Astana meetings, of which we are all part, and they are practical aspects and requirements that are necessary to correct and improve relations between Syria and Turkey and satisfy their common interests.