Iran, Russia hold talks on regional issues

IRNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a Wednesday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed bilateral ties and regional conditions.

The Middle East conditions namely in Syria, Iraq and Persian Gulf and Iran, Russia cooperation in fighting terrorism were among topics discussed by both sides.

The coincidence of the meeting with the sixth round of Astana peace talks on Syria crisis has increased the importance of these negotiations.

Iran, Russia and Turkey are the initiators of the December 30, 2016 ceasefire in Syria. The three countries have also planned the first Astana Talks which were held in the capital city of Kazakhstan on January 23-24, 2017 and was attended by the Syrian government’s representatives as well as dissident groups.

The second round of the Astana talks took place on February 15-16 with the participants agreeing to set up a ceasefire monitoring group assigned by Iran, Russia and Turkey, that would report to the United Nations.

The third meeting involving the Iranian, Russian and Turkish and the UN delegations was held on March 14-15, while the US and Jordan participated as observers.

In the fourth round of talks, the participating countries and warring sides agreed to create four de-escalation zones in Idlib Province, in northern parts of Homs, in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus countryside and south of the country.

Halting all wars, facilitation of humanitarian aids, reconstruction of infrastructure, provision of medical care and return of the refugees were stressed in the agreement.

After the fifth round of talks on July 4, Moscow’s chief negotiator Aleksandr Lavrentev said a basic framework had been “essentially agreed” on in the latest negotiations, but some details “need finalizing.” Ultimately, there was no agreement at the end of the talks.

Some Western and Arab countries, led by the US, caused scores of thousands of extremist terrorists, enjoying advanced weaponry and financial and intelligence support, to enter Syria 6 years ago, in order to bring down the Syrian government.

The anti-Syrian actions created tens of terrorist groups that resulted in massacre and displacement of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Syrian and Iraq, and also destruction of the two countries, but certain Western and Arab countries keep supporting the armed oppositions and terrorists.