Iranian, Russian, Turkish Presidents Hold Talks on Syrian Crisis

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The trilateral summit between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian and Turkish counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, about the Syrian crisis opened in Tehran on Friday.

The meeting would cover a wide range of issues related to the settlement of the Syrian crisis, including preparations for provocative moves through using chemical weapons in a residential area of Syria’s Idlib Province, according to the Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov.

Ahead of the summit, the three presidents had held separate bilateral meetings on issues of mutual interest.

According to Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi, the summit is not expected to resolve all issues surrounding the prolonged crisis in Syria but it can facilitate more steps to combat terrorism and restore tranquility to the Arab country.

The remarks came as Syrian forces continue to reclaim much of southern parts of the country and are poised to soon launch an offensive in Idlib, one of the last remaining areas outside of Damascus’ control.

In April, 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.

The three countries have so far held several rounds of peace talks in Kazakhstan’s Astana and elsewhere to help end the conflict in Syria. The fourth round of those talks in May 2017 produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.

Diplomatic efforts to end fighting in Syria gained momentum in 2017 with the announcement of a ceasefire in the Arab country in early January.

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.

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