Iranian Diplomat in Syria as Astana Peace Talks Loom
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari has traveled to Damascus for talks on an upcoming round of Syria peace negotiations in the Kazakh city of Astana and on the latest developments in the Arab country.
The ranking diplomat, who is also Iran’s top negotiator in the Astana talks, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday night.
Jaberi Ansari is going to hold talks with top Syrian officials on the latest developments in the war-ravaged country and coordinate policies for an upcoming round of Astana talks.
The trip comes a few days after the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura visited Iran and held talks with senior Iranian officials on the ways to end the war in Syria.
A fresh round of Syria peace negotiations will be held in Kazakhstan in the coming weeks.
Syria’s warring sides have so far attended five rounds of peace talks in Astana, brokered by Iran, Russia and Turkey, known as the guarantors of a ceasefire in the Arab country.
The fourth round of those talks in May produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.
Over the past six years, Syria has been fighting foreign-sponsored militancy. 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.