TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Foreign ministers of Iran and Turkey held a meeting in Russia on Saturday for talks on a range of issues, from the latest efforts for peace in Syria to the bilateral banking ties.

In the gathering, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed the ways to boost Tehran-Ankara relations in various fields, as in the banking and tourism sectors.

The also talked about the latest regional and international developments, particularly the Astana process for the settlement of crisis in Syria.

Foreign ministers of Iran, Russia and Turkey have gathered in Moscow to coordinate political efforts for peace in Syria.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday morning, Zarif described the Astana process as the only initiative that has resulted in actual reduction of tensions in Syria.

Unlike the other initiatives that have gone nowhere, the Astana peace process has seen many meetings at the level of presidents, ministers, deputy ministers and experts over the past year which have resulted in a political process for the settlement of crisis in Syria and a downward trend in tensions on the ground, he added.

Since January 2017, Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana has hosted several rounds of peace talks that led to an agreement on de-escalation zones across Syria.

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

According to reports, the conflict that broke out in Syria in 2011 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.