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Russia, Iran, Turkey Oppose Illegal Seizure of Oil Revenues Belonging to Syria

© AP Photo / Hussein MallaThis March 27, 2018 file photo shows Syrian workers fixing pipes of an oil well at an oil field controlled by a U.S-backed Kurdish group, in Rmeilan, Hassakeh province, Syria.
This March 27, 2018 file photo shows Syrian workers fixing pipes of an oil well at an oil field controlled by a U.S-backed Kurdish group, in Rmeilan, Hassakeh province, Syria. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2021
NUR-SULTAN (Sputnik) - Russia, Iran and Turkey announced on Wednesday that they are ready to stand against all separatist agendas and voiced their opposition to the illegal seizure of oil revenues, according to the joint statement of the trio which concluded the 17th meeting on Syria in the Astana Format that took place in Nur-Sultan.

"[The sides] reiterated their opposition to the illegal seizure and transfer of oil revenues that should belong to Syria", the statement said.

The sides rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives under the pretext of combating terrorism.

"Reaffirmed their determination to stand against separatist agendas in the east of the Euphrates aimed at undermining the unity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighbouring countries. Expressed grave concern, in this regard, with increasing hostilities and all forms of oppression by the separatist groups against civilians in the east of Euphrates," it added.

The vast majority of Syrian oil and gas wealth is concentrated in the country’s northeast, which is not controlled by the government forces. According to an intelligence report released by the Russian military in 2019, the Pentagon, the CIA, and private military contractors were collaborating with local militants in the northern part of the country, carrying out an oil smuggling operation earning them over $30 million a month.
US forces are operating in Syria without permission from the United Nations or the Syrian government in Damascus.

Foreign Troops in Syria

Commenting on the US presence in the country, Russian Special Representative Alexander Lavrentyev said that a withdrawal of American troops would solve many issues.

"A large number of existing difficulties and problems are not only in southern Syria but also in the Euphrates, everything can be solved by the withdrawal of the American forces from these territories. Frankly speaking, even the dialogue that takes place between the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces and Damascus would have gone much faster and more fruitfully", Lavrentyev said at a press conference following the Astana format meeting.

He also noted that Turkey promised to withdraw its forces if there is such an opportunity.

"We oppose any illegal armed military presence. This is a clear violation of international law, and this should not continue. Our Turkish partners emphasise that they stand for the territorial integrity of Syria, for the unity of Syria, for its independence. They say that they are temporarily and will leave as soon as the opportunity allows them to do it", he said.

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