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'Hope for peace in Syria strongest ever' as Turkey, Russia, Iran meet in Sochi
11:40, 15.02.2019

Presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran met in Sochi late Thursday, expressing hope for Syria's future in a press conference.

"Hope for peace in Syria is at its strongest for first time," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during the conference with his counterparts Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani. "We have preserved the spirit of the Astana process despite all the problems and provocations," he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia, Turkey and Iran would jointly work to normalize life in Syria. "The Astana process would lead to a permanent political solution in Syria," he said, adding that close coordination at the summits have allowed the three countries to cooperate very effectively.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also praised the efforts of the three countries. He said that they would continue to reduce clashes and achieve greater stability in Syria through these meetings.

Regarding the next trilateral summit, Erdoğan said he hopes to host it in Turkey while Putin said they plan to hold late March or early April.

The first meeting of the Astana process was held in Turkey back in January 2017, with an aim to bring all warring parties in the Syrian conflict to the table. It would complement the U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Geneva.

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