No Alternative to Astana Process for Syria Peace

No Alternative to Astana Process for Syria PeaceNo Alternative to Astana Process for Syria Peace

A top Foreign Ministry official said the tripartite peace process supported by Iran, Russia and Turkey, known as Astana talks, has no alternative and cannot be viewed as a supplementary for UN-sponsored Geneva talks aimed at defusing the lingering Syrian crisis.

Hossein Jaberi Ansari, a top political advisor to the foreign minister, who was in Sochi, Russia, to hold consultations with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov on regional issues, said Iran-Russia efforts "at resolving the Syrian crisis and combating terrorism have been very successful," IRNA reported on Friday.

He was to attend the trilateral talks in Sochi on Saturday about the Russian-proposed national dialogue congress, which is aimed at bringing together the Syrian government and opposition groups for finding a lasting solution in the war-ravaged country after the defeat of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group late last year.  

Bogdanov told reporters on Friday that the situation regarding the Syrian settlement would become the central issue of the Sochi talks. "The meeting is very important to us, because we can specify some details and coordinate our approaches on the Syrian settlement issue," TASS reported.

Jaberi Ansari said other issues in the Middle East, including the US decision to recognize Beit-ul-Moqaddas as the Israeli capital and the ongoing war in Yemen, would also be discussed during the talks.

He added that the latest situation in Iraq and as well as the recent flare-up of armed groups in Libya would be among other issues to be raised during the discussions.

"Given the vast potentialities of Iran and Russia, these consultations can help resolve the current crises in the Arab region and restore peace and stability to this region of the world," the Iranian diplomat noted.    

In the same vein, Bogdanov also said he would discuss with his Iranian counterpart a range of Middle East issues.

"The situation in the Middle East is actively developing," he noted.

"Different, sometimes contradictory, processes are going on there, so it is important to us to share our assessments, ideas and forecasts with our Iranian partners and friends."


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