Rouhani, Erdogan,Putin
© Sputnik/Valery Melnikov/Kremlin via Reuters
Hassan Rouhani of Iran • Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey • Vladimir Putin of Russia
The presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey are meeting for talks centered on resolving the conflict in Syria. This is the first international public appearance of Hassan Rouhani as Iran is accused of Saudi Arabia attack by US.

During their meeting in Ankara on Monday, Presidents Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani and Recep Erdogan - of Russia, Iran and Turkey respectively - talked about progress in the Syrian conflict, as well as ways to finally end fighting in the Idlib Province, one of the last rebel strongholds in the country.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Syria's "sovereignty, its territorial integrity, its independence" must be respected as the parties search for an end to the conflict, which he said cannot be done with a "military solution."

He also noted that "Syrians themselves" should decide on what future they want, and rejected attempts at "regime change" in the country.
"Today, after almost nine years, with all the experience we've gathered, we still believe that the regime change - which is a position held by some countries - is no longer viable. This crisis, and other crises in the region should be settled only by peaceful means, and by the people of these countries themselves."
Over the weekend, Washington said Iran was behind Saturday drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities, despite Yemen's Houthi rebel group taking responsibility for the strikes. The incident ratcheted up already-tense relations between the two countries, who have been embroiled in a war of words since US President Donald Trump took the US out of a nuclear pact signed between Iran and world powers, and imposed a raft of crippling sanctions on the country's economy.

Rouhani added that the "unlawful presence" of American troops on Syrian soil endangered Syria's "territorial integrity ... and its sovereignty as well," and said US President Donald Trump's vow to withdraw US troops from the country had "zero results."