Tehran to Host Expert Syria Talks

Tehran to Host Expert Syria Talks

Experts from Iran, Russia and Turkey, the guarantors of Syria ceasefire, are to meet in Tehran today for preparatory talks in advance of the sixth round of the Astana peace negotiations due in late August. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday the two-day meeting would focus on the “strengthening” of de-escalation zones in the war-torn Syria where Tehran and Moscow back President Bashar al-Assad in his fighting against armed rebel groups supported by Ankara and its western and regional allies. “With the Turkish counterpart [Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu], we discussed the situation with the fulfillment of the agreements as part of the Astana process and discussed preparations for a new meeting of the representatives of Russia, Turkey and Iran, which will take place in Tehran on August 8-9,” TASS quoted Lavrov as saying on Sunday. “The meeting will continue the talk on further strengthening the regime of de-escalation zones,” the top Russian diplomat added. Fighting sharply diminished after the trio reached a memorandum of understanding on creating four de-escalation zones in Syria during the fourth round of Astana talks in May.

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