The presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran attend summit in Sochi to discuss the future of Syria.
A three-way summit on Wednesday between the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey could produce decisive steps towards ending the bloodshed in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the start of their talks.
In opening remarks at the summit in the southern Russian resort of Sochi, Putin, Erdogan and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani spoke of an opening for peace in Syria now that Daesh has been pushed out of its last major stronghold there.
"The point we have reached is important, but not enough," Erdogan told the gathering, also attended by military commanders and foreign ministers from the three countries.
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"It is critical for all parties to contribute to a permanent and acceptable political solution for the people of Syria," he said. "This summit is aimed at results, I believe critical decisions will be taken."
Putin says Russia, Iran and Turkey prevented Syria's collapse
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia, Iran and Turkey had managed to prevent Syria's collapse.
He added that there was a "real chance" to end Syria's civil war as he opened a summit with the leaders of Turkey and Iran in an effort to reboot a peace process in the war-ravaged country.
"There is a real chance to put an end to this years-long civil war," Putin said.
"It is obvious that the reform process will not be simple, it will require compromise and concessions from all parties, including obviously the Syrian government," he said.
"I count on the fact that Russia, Iran and Turkey will put in their best efforts to make this work as productive as possible," the Russian president added.
Putin said the Iranian and Turkish presidents had agreed to support a Russian proposal for a "Syrian people's congress."
Russia wants the congress, also to be held in Sochi, to open dialog alongside a formal UN-sponsored peace process in Geneva.
Rouhani says foreign interference in Syria must end
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that foreign interference in the conflict in Syria must end.
He added that foreign military presence in the country may only be acceptable if it is by the invitation of Syria's regime.
Rouhani, who stopped short of naming any specific nations, also told his Russian and Turkish counterparts that now there was the need to uproot the last terrorist cells in Syria and the ground was prepared for political settlement.
The Iranian president said the three countries' strategy was "based on partnership and not competition, on friendship and not on animosity."
"By cooperating, our countries destroyed the decaying body of terror" in Syria, he said.
Syria's civil war, which is in its seventh year, has killed hundreds of thousands of people and created the world's worst refugee crisis, driving more than 11 million people from their homes.