Iranian, Russian diplomats discuss Syrian crisis

Tasnim – Iran’s Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei and the Russian president’s special envoy to the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, exchanged views about a host of issues, including the Syrian crisis and the results of peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

Meeting in Moscow on Friday, the two diplomats discussed developments in the Middle East with a focus on matters concerning a Syrian settlement, including those in the light of the results of the 6th International Meeting on Syria in Astana, according to a press release by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Sanaei and Bogdanov underlined the importance of maintaining close coordination between Tehran and Moscow on the regional agenda at bilateral and multilateral levels.

Since January, Astana has hosted six rounds of peace talks which have so far resulted in an agreement on four de-escalation zones across Syria.

The talks in Astana have been going on in tandem with UN-brokered Geneva talks.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.