Iran, Russia, Turkey officials confer Syria crisis

January 14, The Iran Project -Since the start of the Syria crisis, the Iranian, Russian and Turkish leaders have did their best to settle the dilemma and have mediate several peace talks aimed at solving upheaval in this Arab country.

Iran, Russia and Turkey foreign ministers after talks in Moscow released a statement on December 20, 2016 which resulted in a comprehensive ceasefire in Syria.

In an indication of settling Syria crisis, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari held meetings with senior Russian and Turkish officials in Moscow on Jan 14 on the settlement of the years-long crisis in Syria.

Arrived in Moscow on Jan 13, Jaberi Ansari held a meeting with the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and North Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov, to discuss the latest developments on the Syrian crisis and coordinate upcoming peace talks due to be held in the Kazakh capital Astana later this month.

“The two diplomats stressed the importance of maintaining close dialogue between Moscow and Tehran on the Syrian crisis and on other current issues of the regional agenda,” a statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Describing Iran, Russia and Turkey trilateral meeting for settlement of Syria crisis as fruitful, Jaberi Ansari underscored that the crisis in this Arab country should be settled through the political and peaceful means.

Jaberi Ansari reiterated that Iran has always warned about the extension of terrorism threat resulted from the Middle East crisis.

Astana Peace Talks

On Jan 11, Russia reportedly confirmed talks between the Syrian government and the opposition are due to take place in Ashtana, on January 23.

Brokered by Russia and Turkey, the talks aimed at building on the current ceasefire, which has been in effect since late December.

Russia-Turkey Agreement

On Jan 12, Russia and Turkey inked an agreement spelling out mechanisms to “coordinate” their air forces in Syria when conducting strikes “on terrorist targets”, the Russian defense ministry said.

Delegations from the two countries met in Moscow for consultations on cooperating while fighting Daesh terrorists, signing a memorandum, the ministr

Assad Supports Peace Talks

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also has announced that his government was willing to negotiate on “everything” during proposed peace talks in Kazakhstan.

President Assad said that his delegation was willing to approach the negotiating table with an open mind during upcoming peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana, and that he was ready to discuss even his position as president. Assad added, however that his “position is linked to the constitution.”

“If they want to discuss this point they must discuss the constitution,” he said, indicating that any new constitution would have to be put to a referendum, and that it was up to the Syrian people to elect the president.

US Invited to Syria Peace Talks

According to media reports, Russia has invited the incoming Donald Trump administration to Syrian peace talks it is sponsoring later this month with Turkey and Iran.

US participation, especially if an agreement is reached, would be the first indication of the enhanced US-Russia cooperation that President Vladimir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump have forecast under a Trump administration.

The invitation, extended to Trump’s designated national security adviser, Michael Flynn, came in a Dec. 28 phone call to Flynn by Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador in Washington, according to a transition official.

US Denial

Meanwhile, on Jan 13, the United States announced that it has not received a formal invitation to Syria peace talks being organized by Russia and Turkey to be held in Astana on Jan. 23, the US State Department said.

“To my knowledge we have not received … a formal invitation to the talks,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said at a daily briefing. 

To sum up, it should be noted that Moscow and Tehran has always followed the same strategy to preserve the Syrian solidarity and the rights of the Syrian people to decide on their fate.