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Putin, Rouhani assess U.S. actions in Syria

10 April 2017 [12:52] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Kamila Aliyeva

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin noted "inadmissibility of the U.S. aggressive actions" in Syria during a telephone conversation held on April 9.

The conversation took place on the initiative of the Iranian side, the Kremlin's press service said, RIA Novosti reported.

The sides exchanged opinions on the situation in Syria, emphasizing that aggressive actions taken by the United States against a sovereign state and the violation of international law are inadmissible.

Both presidents spoke in favor of an objective and unbiased investigation of the circumstances involving the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian province of Idlib.

The two leaders noted the importance of further close interaction on the political and diplomatic settlement of the armed conflict in Syria.

The Heads of States also discussed the implementation of the agreements reached during the Iranian President’s official visit to Russia which took place on March 27–28, 2017. Particular attention was paid to key aspects of bilateral cooperation in counter-terrorism efforts. The two presidents expressed readiness to boost these efforts to ensure stability and security in the Middle East.

Turkey together with Russia and Iran remain the guarantor countries of the ceasefire in Syria, announced in late 2016. However, the positions of the parties after the U.S. missile strike in response to the use of chemical weapons in the province of Idlib on April 4 differed significantly. Iran has expressed its full support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Turkey expressed support for the U.S. position.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a harsh statement calling Bashar al-Assad "evil" and urging Russia to stop supporting him.

Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey also spoke in support of the U.S. missile strike against the airbase of government forces after the chemical attack in the province of Idlib.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Moscow to reconsider its position on Syria and to give up support for the Assad regime, which, according to him, has no place in the future of Syria. Tillerson also placed the future of Russian-American relations in many other spheres in dependence on Moscow's position on Syria.

The Kremlin has repeatedly stated that the involvement of government forces in a chemical attack has not been proven.

On April 4, the National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces of Syria reported about 200 wounded and 80 victims of chemical weapons attack in Khan-Sheikhun city of Idlib province. The oppositionists blamed government troops of Syria for the attack. The command of the Syrian army rejected accusations in its address and laid the blame on the militants and their patrons.

The UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have already taken up the investigation of the incident, but so far they have not published any conclusions about possible perpetrators of the incident.

As Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem stated earlier, Syrian government troops have never used or intend to use chemical weapons against civilians and against terrorists.

The stocks of chemical weapons were successfully exported from Syria. In January 2016 the OPCW announced the complete elimination of the country's chemical industry.

In 2013, the organization received the Nobel Peace Prize for chemical disarmament of Syria.


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