Iran, Russia Discuss Preparations for Syrian Congress

Iran, Russia Discuss Preparations for Syrian CongressIran, Russia Discuss Preparations for Syrian Congress

Senior Iranian and Russian diplomats discussed preparations for the upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress, due to be held late January to quicken the pace of a peace process aimed at ending the worst man-made calamity of the 21st  century.  

The discussions were held in a Thursday meeting in Moscow between Russian President's Special Representative for the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Iranian ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei.

"While discussing the Syrian settlement issue, [the parties] focused on close cooperation between Russia and Iran in light of the results of the international meeting on Syria in Astana and as part of preparations for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by TASS news agency.

Iran, Russia and Turkey agreed last week to bring to the table the Syrian government and opposition groups in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on January 29-30.

The announcement came after the latest round of reconciliation talks in Kazakhstan's capital Astana, which are held in parallel with UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva.  

The trio, who act as guarantors of the peace process, will hold a preparatory meeting in Sochi on January 19-20.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced this week the congress will see over 1,700 participants, who will outline their vision of Syria's future on behalf of the government and various opposition groups residing inside and outside of Syria.

They are expected to discuss a new constitution for Syria and UN-brokered elections in the country.

  Closer Consultations

The two diplomats also discussed other developments in the Middle East, particularly those related to Yemen and Palestine conflicts.  

Bogdanov and Sanaei stressed the need for continued consultations between the two countries as the situation in the chaotic Middle East is getting more complex.  

"[Dealing with] the sensitive conditions in the region requires [us] to develop diplomatic consultations at bilateral and regional levels," Fars News Agency quoted Sanaei as saying.

The Iranian ambassador said Tehran is working to facilitate dialogue-based solutions to regional conflicts to help boost regional stability.

"The continuation of these conflicts and clashes benefits no body," he said, adding that regional countries ought to join hands to settle the region's problems themselves and prevent outside powers from interfering in their affairs.    


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