Rouhani, Putin Stress Further Anti-Terror Efforts

Iranian and Russian presidents on Saturday held their fourth phone conversation about developments in Syria over the past month
Rouhani, Putin Stress  Further Anti-Terror EffortsRouhani, Putin Stress  Further Anti-Terror Efforts

The presidents of Iran and Russia welcomed the ongoing nationwide ceasefire in Syria, stressing the importance of carrying out more measures to fight terrorist groups.

In a telephone conversation on Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, said the battle against terrorism and terrorist groups, including the self-styled Islamic State and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorist groups, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, must continue, Press TV reported.

The two presidents exchanged views on cooperation among Iran, Russia and Syria ahead of the peace talks due to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan, among the parties to the Syrian conflict.

“We welcome the ceasefire achieved in Syria as a result of cooperation among Iran, Russia and Syria, and we also regard as necessary further consultation and coordination among countries ahead of the Kazakhstan meeting,” Rouhani said.

The Iranian president stressed the importance of sending more humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, particularly those living in militant-held cities.

“It is very important that we protect and safeguard this ceasefire after the recent victories,” he added.

The ceasefire agreement excludes the most brutal terrorist outfits operating in Syria, namely IS and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

The truce was mediated by Russia and Turkey, which respectively represented the Syrian government and the anti-Damascus militants.

Ankara has stepped up its cooperation with Moscow recently, prompting speculation that Turkey might be moving away from the US, which is supporting Kurdish militants in Syria.

Russia and Turkey successfully brokered a similar accord earlier this month following the defeat of militants, which ended years of fighting in the strategic Syrian city of Aleppo and facilitated the evacuation of residents from the city.

The Russian president said the ongoing ceasefire in Syria was the outcome of cooperation among all countries, particularly Iran and Russia, which seek to establish peace in the Arab state.

Putin stressed the importance of protecting the recent achievements made in Syria and making further joint efforts to fight international terrorism.

He said Moscow is ready to cooperate with groups in Syria that seek to promote peace, stressing, “We will undoubtedly not allow terrorist groups like IS, al-Nusra Front and similar ones to be included in the ceasefire agreement.”

It was the fourth phone conversation between the Iranian and Russian presidents about developments in Syria over the past month.

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