Iran, Russia coordinate policies for Syria peace talks

Tasnim – As a new round of Syria peace negotiations is underway in Kazakhstan, top diplomats from Iran and Russia discussed the most recent developments in Syria and coordinated policies to help political efforts for the settlement of Syria crisis yield result.

In a telephone conversation on Monday evening, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russia counterpart Sergei Lavrov discussed the ways for closer coordination between Tehran and Moscow within the framework of the Astana negotiations.

Zarif and Lavrov “discussed the further coordination of actions in the interests of successfully promoting the Astana Process for a political settlement in Syria,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

The 7th round of Syria peace talks brokered by Iran, Russia, and Turkey began in Astana on October 30.

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.

During the sixth round of Astana talks in September, Iran, Russia and Turkey agreed on a deal to establish and patrol a de-escalation zone in Syria’s northern Idlib province. In early October, Turkey deployed tanks and military vehicles on its Syrian border, building up military presence in Idlib.

Diplomatic efforts to end fighting in Syria gained momentum in 2017 with the announcement of a ceasefire in the Arab country in early January.

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.