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Lasting Ceasefire Key to Resolving Syria Crisis

Lasting Ceasefire Key to Resolving Syria CrisisLasting Ceasefire Key to Resolving Syria Crisis

A senior Iranian diplomat called on all parties to the Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, sponsored by Russia, Iran and Turkey, to help establish a lasting ceasefire so the political process to end the six-year conflict in the Arab country can effectively go through.

Addressing the conference on Monday, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari said, "All the participants in these talks should desist from any act of violence and facilitate the [peace] process by helping establish the truce and [abiding by] the cessation of all kinds of hostilities."

"Any group that is committed to non-violence is welcome to join the meeting," he was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Iran, Russia and Turkey have emerged as important players in Syria, with the first two strongly backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey, a NATO member, initially assisted groups seeking his ouster. 

The trilateral initiative was undertaken days after Assad and his supporters won a major victory by capturing eastern Aleppo from the militants in December.

The Astana talks are distinct from separate, intermittent UN-brokered negotiations in Geneva, which broke down a few months ago because of a surge in violence.  

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