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Russia, Iran, Turkey agree to establish mechanism to support Syria ceasefire & Geneva talks

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Russia, Iran and Turkey have announced they will establish a trilateral mechanism to support the ceasefire in Syria. In a joint statement issued at the end of talks in Astana, they said the Syrian opposition should take part in Geneva peace talks on the issue.

The delegations of Iran, Russia and Turkey support the start of negotiations between the government of Syria and armed opposition in Astana, January 23-24, 2017, said a joint statement on Tuesday.

Moscow, Tehran and Ankara agreed that the Syrian crisis can be only resolved via a political process and that there can be no military solution.

The sides also agreed to a joint fight against militants from Islamic State, which alongside Al Nusra front has not been included in the negotiations. The trio also suggested separating the terrorists from Syrian armed opposition groups. They also welcomed the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 on the Syrian crisis, which was adopted in December 2015.

The countries said that they support the willingness of the armed opposition groups to take part in the next round of talks, which are scheduled for February 8 in Geneva.

Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Jaafari told reporters it was extremely painful for the Damascus delegation to sit in the same room as Syrians linked to other agendas. He added that it was not the first time they had sat together, and that they had to do it for the sake of the Syrian people.

Jaafari called the negotiations “a success” and expressed support for the joint statement earlier issued by Moscow, Tehran and Ankara.

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