Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to host the presidents of Turkey and Iran on Thursday to make plans for war-torn Syria following the announced US military withdrawal.
The trilateral summit with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rowhani was to consider “further joint steps with a view to a long-term settlement” in Syria, the Kremlin said in a statement.
The focus was expected to be “on ways to prevent destabilization and chaos and retaining control of the situation if US troops leave the country,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said last week in comments carried by state news agency TASS.
Russia and Iran are the Syrian government’s main military backers in that country’s civil war. Turkey has supported certain rebel groups seeking to overthrow the Syrian government.
Russia, Iran and Turkey have recently come together to support a fragile ceasefire in an effort to restore peace after years of devastation from the war.
Topics were expected to include humanitarian assistance and rebuilding destroyed areas to facilitate the return of refugees, as well as measures to prevent the re-emergence of terrorist groups.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the presidents would discuss the establishment of a Syrian constitutional committee, state media reported.
Erdogan’s office said the presidents would be seeking a “permanent solution” for the Syrian crisis, as intended by the peace process brokered by neutral Central Asian republic Kazakhstan.
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