A day after US President Donald J. Trump raised the prospect of withdrawing US troops from Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian and Iranian counterparts Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani met in Turkey’s capital Ankara on April 4 and vowed to accelerate their efforts to bring stability to Syria, Reuters reported.
In a statement following their summit, the three leaders said they were determined to speed up their efforts to ensure calm on the ground in Syria.
Allies Russia and Iran have both strongly supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Ankara has backed the anti-Assad rebels.
Erdogan proposed providing a bakery to help feed refugees and build housing on both sides of the border. “We can save these people from tents and container cities by building housing. We can, all together, make that zone safe,” Reuters quoted Erdogan as saying
Speaking to reporters, Putin endorsed the proposal by Erdogan for the three countries to jointly provide humanitarian aid to Syria and called on other nations to join the effort, RFE/RL reported.
Putin also highlighted what he called the three leaders’ “firm commitment to the consolidation of sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic”.
During the summit, Rouhani said although Islamist militant groups ISIS and al-Nusra and other terrorist groups had been hit hard and were on the brink of annihilation, some sides kept arming them and had enabled terrorists to continue their brutal actions against the Syrian people, including residents of Damascus, Iran’s Press TV reported.