PKK terror group targets Syria's territorial integrity: Turkish president

Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara sees no difference between terrorist organizations.

PKK terror group targets Syria's territorial integrity: Turkish president

The PKK terrorist organization targets the territorial integrity of Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

"Terrorism of PKK, PYD, and YPG is a common issue for all of us. We should not forget that the terrorist organization targets the territorial integrity of Syria," Erdogan said after the trilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Iran's capital Tehran.

The leaders gathered for the 7th summit in the Astana format to discuss the recent developments in Syria, the fight against the terrorist groups, particularly YPG/PKK and Daesh/ISIS, which pose a threat to the regional security, the humanitarian situation, and the voluntarily return of the Syrians to their homes.

"As Türkiye, we do not see any difference between terrorist organizations. Our fight against terrorist organizations will always continue regardless of where and by whom they are supported," Erdogan vowed.

The president said Türkiye, Russia, and Irandiscussed joint steps to end the conflict in Syria, adding that there is only a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Erdogan also said: "We should not forget that people in Syria are in tents in an inhumane environment. Our goal is to ensure our Syrian brothers and sisters return their home voluntarily, safely and with dignity."

The Astana process was launched in 2017 to restore peace in Syria, which has been ravaged by a civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters with unexpected ferocity.

Diplomacy is only solution to Syrian crisis: Putin

The Russian leader said it was a "constructive and useful" summit on Syria, and the three countries agreed that the Syrian crisis could only be resolved through diplomacy.

Putin also said Russia, Türkiye and Iran are ready to continue helping uninterrupted work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee.

Moscow, Ankara, and Tehran reject all unilateral sanctions against Syria, Putin said, adding that they remain committed to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Syria.

He further said Russia, Türkiye and Iran condemn the increased presence and activities of terrorist organizations in Syria, as well as "illegal self-government initiatives" in the country under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

Putin also emphasized that the cooperation with Türkiye is developing "dynamically" in all fields.

Speaking on the economic ties with Tehran, the Russian president said he agreed with his Iranian counterpart to boost the use of national currencies in bilateral trade.

'US presence in east of Euphrates is unacceptable'

For his part, Iran's Raisi said the US presence in east of the Euphrates River, northeastern Syria, is "unacceptable" and they should leave the region.

The issue of Syrian refugees and domestically displaced people is an "important issue," he said, urging the regional countries and the international community to "help the refugees return their homes."

The guarantor states of the Astana process, Raisi said, have always backed the "political solution" to the crisis within the framework of the agreements reached, including holding the Syrian constitutional negotiations, while reaffirming their commitment to fight terrorism in the entire region, including Syria.

He called for "ending the presence of terrorist groups" in Syria, while condemning Israeli attacks in the war-ravaged country, especially on civilian infrastructures like airports and ports.

The Iranian president reaffirmed Tehran's support to the "people and the government of Syria with full force."

Raisi hailed the Astana process as a "successful framework for the peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis," which he affirmed has had "good achievements."a