Iran’s foreign minister to join trilateral Syria talks in Moscow

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Iran’s foreign minister has traveled to Moscow, where he is to join trilateral talks on the situation in Syria with his Russian and Syrian counterparts.

Mohammad Javad Zarif headed for the Russian capital on Friday at the invitation of his Russian opposite number Sergei Lavrov.

He was to meet with Lavrov before holding trilateral negotiations with Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem.

The talks are to focus on the latest developments in the Arab country as well as convergent approaches towards resolving the deadly crisis there.

Last October, the three top diplomats held similar talks in the Russian capital where they emphasized the need for unyielding fight against terrorism and working towards the resumption of UN-brokered Syria talks in Geneva, which started last year before breaking down.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem (L-R) attend a press conference following a trilateral meeting in Moscow, Oct. 28, 2016.  

In December 2016, Moscow also hosted a meeting of foreign and defense ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey on the Syria crisis.

The Moscow talks resulted in more concerted cooperation against terrorists in Syria and laid the groundwork for Syria talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

Iran has been lending Syria military advisory support against the foreign-backed militancy, which has been plaguing the country since 2011. Russia has been backing up the fight with airstrikes since last September.

The three foreign ministers meet only days after the United States struck western Syria with cruise missiles following an alleged gas attack which Washington has blamed on Damascus.

The US attack has placed Washington and Moscow, which support opposing sides in Syria, on a collision course.

Both Moscow and Tehran have condemned the attack and warned Washington against repeating such strikes.

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