Shamkhani Discusses Syria Crisis in Moscow

Shamkhani Discusses Syria Crisis in Moscow
Shamkhani Discusses Syria Crisis in Moscow

A senior security official met Russian authorities in Moscow to discuss developments in Syria and the wider Middle East as well as bilateral cooperation.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, held a meeting with Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on Monday, in which the two sides exchanged views on developments in Syria and bilateral cooperation in helping find a political solution to the crisis in the Arab country.           

Shamkhani also met Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation to discuss regional developments and cooperation and exchange of information between the SNSC and SCRF, Press TV reported.

Late he called on Russia's special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev. The two discussed the current situation in the war-torn country, potential future developments there and strategies to resolve the Syrian crisis.

  Common Concerns

Before departing for Moscow he elaborated on consultations he had had with Russian authorities in recent weeks. He said common areas of concern and interest, including regional issues, mutual security cooperation, regional terrorism, the situation in Syria as well as continued contacts between SNSC and SCRF, were discussed.

On June 9, Iranian, Russian and Syrian defense ministers met in Tehran to coordinate and step up efforts in the anti-terrorism fight.

 "We decided on what needs to be done at the regional and operational levels and in a consensual and coordinated manner," Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said at the time after meeting his Syrian and Russian counterparts.

Syria has been gripped by a foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.

Iran and Russia are Syria's main allies and help Damascus fight the armed groups, mercenaries and terrorists wanting to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia launched an aerial military campaign against terrorist groups in Syria last September on a request from the government in Damascus. The air raids have expedited the advance of Syrian forces against the militants on the ground.

Iran has also been offering military advice to the Syrian forces.

A fragile ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia went into effect in Syria in February, but it does not apply to the IS and al-Nusra Front terror groups.