Velayati, Russian Official Discuss Syrian Conflict

Velayati, Russian Official Discuss Syrian ConflictVelayati, Russian Official Discuss Syrian Conflict

A top advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution on international affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati, and Russia's Special Envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev conferred on latest developments in the crisis-ridden state of Syria.

Meeting in Moscow on Monday evening, the two sides exchanged views on the most pressing issues surrounding Syria, as well as bilateral ties between Iran and Russia, IRNA reported.

They agreed on finding a political settlement to the five-year-old crisis and described Syrian-Syrian dialogue as the only way to a solution in which the legitimate right of Syrian people for deciding their own destiny without being pressured by foreign powers and terrorist groups is respected.

The United Nations announced the formal start of Geneva peace talks for Syria on Monday between the representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition groups.

The talks mark the first attempt in two years to hold Syrian-Syrian negotiations to end a war that has killed at least 250,000 people and forced 10 million from their homes.

Velayati and Lavrentiev also touched upon close cooperation between Tehran and Moscow in the fight against terrorism, reviewing the campaign against the Islamic State militant group within the framework of quadrilateral cooperation among Iran, Russia, Iraq and Syria.

Velayati, who is also the head of Strategic Research Center of the Expediency Council, arrived in Moscow early on Monday for an official four-day visit.

During his stay, Velayati was expected to discuss political and security relations, in addition to regional cooperation, with Russia's high-ranking officials.

The official was also scheduled to hold talks on Iran’s accession to Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as the two major members, Russia and China, welcome that.

The Islamic Republic of Iran currently holds the observer status in the regional association and eyes membership.