Iran, Russia, Turkey start expert-level meeting on Syria in Tehran

Tasnim– Representatives of Iran, Russia and Turkey started an expert-level meeting in Tehran on Tuesday to set the agenda of the 6th round of the Syrian peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana due to be held later this month.

During the two-day meeting, the participants will exchange views about the ongoing ceasefire and the de-escalation zones in Syria.

The results of the expert-level meeting are planned to be submitted to the Astana talks due to be held at the level of deputy foreign ministers by the end of August.

Syria’s warring sides have so far attended five rounds of peace talks in Astana, brokered by Iran, Russia and Turkey, known as the guarantors of a ceasefire in the Arab country.

The fourth round of those talks in May produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.

Over the past six years, Syria has been fighting foreign-sponsored militancy. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated in August 2016 that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the Syrian crisis until then. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.