Iran president likely to visit Russia in March: Kremlin

Press TV- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is likely to pay a visit to Russia in late March, the Kremlin spokesman says.

Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday confirmed “the preparation of Russian-Iranian contacts” at the highest level, the Sputnik news agency reported.

“Top-level contacts are being prepared. We will inform you about the dates,” Peskov said.

A Russian diplomatic source had earlier announced President Rouhani’s potential trip to Moscow, saying, “Yes, preparations are underway for the visit. This can be realized by late March.”

Iran and Russia have close cooperation and similar stances on bilateral and regional issues, particularly the crisis in Syria. The two countries’ presidents have held several meetings and phone conversations over leading mutual and regional developments.

Rouhani’s possible visit to Moscow would come after Iran, Russia, and Turkey issued a statement at the end of the Syria peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana on January 24, saying the trio agreed to establish a trilateral mechanism to support the ceasefire in the Arab country and monitor possible violations.

From left: Turkish Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Onal, Russia’s Special Envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov, UN Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, and Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari pose after the announcement of a final statement following Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, on January 24, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The three countries organized the Astana meeting between representatives of the Syrian government and opposition groups to explore whether or not they can find a mutually-acceptable solution to the almost-six-year conflict in their country.

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Last month, Tehran, Moscow and Ankara worked out a deal enabling the evacuation of civilians and militants from the strategic city of Aleppo as the Syrian forces were about to retake the northwestern city from Takfiri militants. The deal also paved the way for a ceasefire applying to the entire country, which has been largely holding.