Iranian, Turkish top generals discuss Syria in Sochi

Tasnim– Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri held talks with his Turkish counterpart General Hulusi Akar in the Russian resort city of Sochi.

During the meeting late on Tuesday, Baqeri and Akar discussed the latest developments in the region, Syria in particular, prior to a trilateral summit expected to be held Wednesday with presence of their Russian counterpart General Valery Gerasimov.

General Baqeri arrived in Sochi on Monday evening to attend the Sochi summit which is expected to focus on Syria and the concerted efforts in the fight against terrorist groups there.

In the Sochi summit on November 22, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan are going to push for peace in Syria, which has been gripped by war since March 2011.

On Sunday, the foreign ministers of Iran, Turkey and Russia convened in the Turkish city of Antalya to discuss the outcome of several rounds of expert-level sessions and finalize the agenda of the presidential meeting.

Iran, Russia and Turkey have so far held seven rounds of peace talks in Kazakhstan to help end the conflict in Syria. 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.

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.