TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif started a trip to Syria and Turkey on Tuesday as part of Tehran’s regular political talks with Damascus and Ankara.

– Politics news –

Heading a ranking diplomatic delegation, Zarif left Tehran for Damascus for meetings with top Syrian officials, including his counterpart Walid Muallem and also President Bashar al-Assad.

The two-day tour will later take the Iranian foreign minister to Turkey.

The meetings during the tour -part of the routine political negotiations and coordination with Syria and Turkey- will focus on the major issues in the bilateral relations, including the agreements agreed upon by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Syrian and Turkish counterparts.

The top Iranian diplomat’s visit is also aimed at the coordination of policies on the regional and international developments in order to ensure peace and stability in the region.

Iran and Turkey, together with Russia, are the guarantors of a ceasefire in Syria which has been brokered after several rounds of peace talks, known as the Astana process.

Since March 2011, fighting in Syria has killed an estimated 465,000 people, injured more than one million, and forced about 12 million people – or half the country’s pre-war population – from their homes.