TEHRAN (Press Shia) – United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura arrived in Tehran on Saturday to hold talks with Iranian officials on the ongoing crisis in Syria that has engulfed the Arab country for more than five years.

De Mistura, who is a heading a UN delegation, met with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari in Tehran on Saturday

The UN envoy is in constant contact with regional states to find a way out of the impasse in Syria and figure out how to cease hostilities in the war-stricken country.

In comments in Geneva in October, de Mistura highlighted Iran’s influential role in the Middle East and its efforts to help resolve the protracted war in Syria.

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.

In the meantime, Iran has remained a close ally of Syria and supports its legitimate government in the face of foreign-backed militancy.