TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Iranian foreign minister’s special assistant for political affairs, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, and the Russian president’s special envoy on Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, exchanged views about the latest diplomatic efforts to resolve the protracted crisis in Syria.

The meeting between the Iranian and Russian delegations headed by Jaberi Ansari and Lavrentiev was held in the Kazakh capital of Astana on Monday as part of the ninth round of Syria peace talks sponsored by Iran, Russia, and Turkey.

During the session, attended by Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin, the two sides discussed the latest political and military developments in crisis-stricken Syria.

They also talked about efforts to implement the agreements reached during the recent Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Russia’s Sochi.

Last month, the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey –the three guarantor states of de-escalation zones in Syria- held a meeting in Ankara to discuss ways for peaceful settlement of the crisis in Syria.

Since January 2017, Kazakhstan’s capital 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.