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Sochi peace talks focus on preserving Syria's sovereignty

MOSCOW, July 31 (KUNA) -- Senior officials from Iran, Russia and Turkey have underlined their collective commitment to support Syria's sovereignty and integrity, according to a communique released on Tuesday.
It is imperative to prevent a separatist conflict in Syria and ensure the safe repatriation of Syrian refugees, state television cited senior Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentyev as saying after Russia-hosted Syria peace talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Meanwhile, the Syrian government's chief negotiator Bashar Al-Jaafari told a press conference that the talks were productive, shining light on the plight of Syrian refugees.
He added that US and EU economic sanctions on Syria have encumbered the return of refugees and prevented the delivery of much needed humanitarian aid.
The statement said that the Syrian government and opposition need to build trust in order to reach a definitive political solution to the seven-year old conflict.
It also urged the international community to ratchet up aid to Syria in a bid to restore normalcy to the war-torn nation, revealing that the next round of talks are due in November at an undisclosed location.
The Syrian opposition had boycotted the summit, dismissing it as an attempt by Damascus' close ally to undermine the ongoing UN peace process. (end) as.nam