May 27, 2018

Foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, Turkey discuss trust-building measures for Syria

29 April 2018, 04:18 | Simon Arnold

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov slams airstrikes and claims US plans to divide Syria

Astana process only practical initiative for Syria peace: Zarif

Russia, Turkey and Iran have been planning how to carve up Syria among the coalition, as western nations continue to press for a seat at the negotiating table.

It noted that Zarif, Lavrov and Cavusoglu said the Astana talks must "ensure real progress in achieving a political solution in Syria through an inclusive, free, fair and transparent Syrian-led and Syrian-owned process based on the free will of the Syrian people". The Astana peace talks, which have usually involved delegations from the Syrian government and opposition, began in January 2017 with the mediation of Russian Federation and Iran, two Syria's allies, as well as Turkey, which backs several armed opposition groups operating against Damascus.

"Thanks to it, it became possible to tackle the situation on the battlefield with the Islamic State group [Daesh] and the al Nusra Front", he said, as militants have lost most of the territory they controlled in Syria.

Russian, Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers on Saturday talked up their successes in brokering a political solution to the Syrian conflict at a meeting in Moscow.

Earlier this month, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France launched airstrikes on Syria, targeting government facilities in response to reports of the authorities' allegedly using chemical weapons against civilians in the town of Duma.

No casualties were reported in the attacks and Russian Federation was warned before the missiles were launced. Both Russia and Iran have deployed forces to Syria to back up Assad against anti-regime fighters.

"What is important to understand is that the Russians, they are very pragmatic players", said Lieberman during a discussion on the alliance between Russia, Syria and Iran at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Rouhani, Putin and Erdogan, "reaffirmed their determination to continue their active cooperation on Syria for the achievement of lasting ceasefire between the conflicting parties and advancement of the political process envisaged by UN Security Council Resolution 2254", said a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting of the three leaders in Ankara.

The next Syria talks in Astana are meanwhile set for May 14.

Putin hosted a summit on Syria with the Iranian and Turkish presidents in November.

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