Russian President Vladimir Putin won the backing of Iran and Turkey yesterday to host a Syrian peace congress, taking the central role in a major diplomatic push to finally end a civil war in Syria.

Russian media reports say President Vladimir Putin yesterday noted at a joint press conference in Sochi after a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the three countries have agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, including against Daesh terrorist organization

According to Sputnik news agency, Putin went on to say that the successful anti-terrorist efforts in Syria open up a “completely new stage in the crisis settlement” in the country, which means “achieving long-term, comprehensive normalization in Syria, political development in the post-conflict period.”  He reportedly stressed that Syria should remain “sovereign, united and integral.”

Moreover, the presidents of Iran and Turkey have supported Russia's initiative of a national dialogue in Syria.  Vladimir Putin noted that the initial steps for the promotion of inclusive intra-Syrian dialogue have been outlined.

To promote the intra-Syrian dialogue, the Syrian National Dialogue Congress will be held in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi.  Putin said the Congress should gather the representatives of different political parties, opposition movements, and ethnic groups to discuss the issues of future Syria's statehood and the new constitution.

In a joint statement, the three leaders called on the Syrian government and moderate opposition to "participate constructively" in the planned congress.

"The congress will look at the key questions on Syria's national agenda.  First of all that is the drawing-up of a framework for the future structure of the state, the adoption of a new constitution, and, on the basis of that, the holding of elections under United Nations supervision,” Putin told reporters.

Taking the floor after Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani praised the trilateral meeting, saying it will contribute to the peace process in Astana.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was the last member of the conference to deliver a speech, noted that the three sides managed to come to a common opinion over the need to provide support for a large-scale, free, fair political process led by the Syrian people.  He touched upon the issue of economic cooperation between the countries as well.