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Iranian, Russian Diplomats Discuss Syria in Astana

TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari held talks with Russian special envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev in Kazakh capital city of Astana on Tuesday.

The meeting was held within the framework of the fifth meeting in Astana to find a political solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria.

The two diplomats discussed the latest developments in process of talks on Syria and also the latest political conditions of the war-torn country.

Issues related to easing tensions in Syria and the documents prepared in the expert session in Astana were among the other topics discussed by the two sides.

Syria’s warring sides had attended four rounds of peace talks brokered by Iran, Russia and Turkey in the Kazakh capital, Astana. The most recent round of Astana talks in May produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.

The agreement also envisages creation of conditions for the delivery of medical assistance, restoration of damaged infrastructure, and return of displaced civilians to their homes.

Over the past six years, Syria has been fighting foreign-sponsored militancy. The United Nations 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.

Tehran insists that the Syrian nation is the only side that has the right to shape the future of its own country, rejecting foreign intervention with the use of force.