Russia, Turkey, Iran to hold Syria talks

29 April, 2018, 01:23 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Turkey Speaks of Move with US in Manbij

During a meeting with his counterparts from Iran and Turkey, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the recent US-led missile strikes on Syria "seriously aggravated the situation".

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They say the Astana process, aimed at ending the violence in Syria, is the only way of reducing tensions.

The incident created a rift between Russian Federation and Iran, who support Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and condemned the strikes, and Turkey, which supports rebel groups said the response was an appropriate response to a "massacre".

Mr Lavrov met Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The top Iranian, Russian and Turkish diplomats said the Astana peace process is the "only global initiative that had helped practically improve the situation in Syria through joint efforts to combat terrorism, reduce the level of violence and create favorable conditions for the political settlement including via facilitating broad intra-Syrian dialogue", the statement said.

The three nations launched their peace attempt in the Kazakhstan capital Astana previous year, which they are pursuing independently of a USA and UN-backed Geneva initiative.

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During the meeting, Zarif hailed the cooperation between Iran and Russian Federation in fight against terrorism in the region, the Iranian state-run IRINN TV reported.

Lavrov rejected United States statements on respecting Syria's territorial integrity as "only words" and said that Washington had designs for the country.

Yet the latest talks in Moscow came as the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7 has prompted sharply differing responses from Turkey and Russian Federation. Rebels left the town a few days after the chemical attack there on April 7, in which dozens of people were reported killed.

Putin hosted a summit on Syria with the Iranian and Turkish presidents in November. It surrendered its chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the OPCW and the UN.

The defense secretary said conflict between the two countries in Syria is "very likely... because Iran continues to do its proxy work there through Hezbollah".

They "called upon the worldwide community, first and foremost the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies, to increase their assistance to Syria in the interest of all Syrians, including by facilitating humanitarian mine action, restoring basic infrastructure together with social and economic facilities, and preserving historical heritage", it concluded.

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