Rouhani stresses Syria's territorial integrity before leaving for Sochi

TEHRAN, Feb. 14 (MNA) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani highlighted the importance of protecting Syria's territorial integrity before leaving for Sochi to take part at the tripartite summit of Iran, Russia and Turkey on Syria.

Speaking at Mehrabad Airport on Thursday before leaving Tehran for Russia's Sochi, President Hassan Rouhani expressed condolences over the martyrdom of a number of IRGC forces in a terrorist attack in Sistan and Baluchistan province claimed the lives of 27 people and injured dozens of others in southeastern Iran.

He stressed that the United States and the Israeli regime are the main root of terrorism in the region, and, "unfortunately, some oil-rich countries in the region support these terrorists."

"Such cowardly crimes will have no effect on the great Iranian nation's resolve, and they will continue along the same path they have taken," Rouhani stressed.

"The people of Iran will never yield to the world powers. These people have been facing mercenary terrorists since the beginning of the Islamic Revolution, and will continue combating them until they are rooted out, and we will definitely avenge their martyrdom," he continued.

Calling on some neighbours to carry out their legal duties within the framework of good neighborliness, he asked them not to let terrorists take advantage of their soil to carry out terrorists acts against their neighbors.

"If this trend continues and they cannot stop terrorists, it is clear that we have rights according to international rules and regulations and we will claim our rights," the president noted.

Elsewhere, the president discussed the objective of his Sochi visit, saying, "the first summit was held in Sochi, the second in Ankara, and the third in Tehran. This is the fourth summit on regional issues and security, especially Syria, following the Astana process."

Stating that the terrorist groups have suffered heavy losses in Syria, he said, "there are still some of them in northern parts of Syria and eastern banks of the Euphrates, which emphasizes that the process of fighting them must continue until they are rooted out."

"The second issue about Syria is the presence of foreign forces in the country, and if a country is present in Syria without the invitation from the legitimate Syrian government, it must leave the country."

Rouhani added, "especially Americans, who have been on the Syrian soil against international regulations since the beginning, and they have occupied this country; of course, they have recently announced that they wish to leave Syria, which is good news if it is right."

"Of course, we can never trust the vows and words of Americans, and neither will the world," he noted.

Stating that protecting the territorial integrity of Syria is important for Iran, he said, "the entire Syrian soil must be in the control of the government in Damascus, and it is them who should speak to Kurds as their fellow Syrians."

"We stress the fact that the Syrian soil is inseparable and a part of it cannot be controlled by another country," said Rouhani.

Referring to the importance of drafting the Constitution and a committee for that purpose, he said, "this is also one of the issues that is normally stressed at these tripartite summits."

The model of cooperation between Iran, Turkey and Russia for resolving regional issues is a very good one, said the President, adding, "we have repeatedly announced that regional issues must be resolve by the countries of the region and the Astana Process is a very good model, which enjoys the cooperation of the United Nations and its Secretary-General."

"The future of Syria is at the hands of the people of the country and the Syrian-Syrian negotiation process is on the right track, which should continue," he added.

Rouhani further noted that he would hold separate bilateral meetings with Turkey's Erdogan and Russia's Putin during his one-day stay in Sochi.

MS/IRN83208905/PR

News Code 142501

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