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Iranian, Russian officials discuss Syria in Astana

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari and Russian President’s Special Envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev held talks on the latest developments in the war-ravaged Arab country.

According to Tasnim news agency, in a meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing Syria peace negotiations in the city of Astana, Kazakhstan, on Tuesday, Jaberi Ansari and Lavrentiev exchanged views on the latest developments in Syria.

The two sides also discussed the latest arrangements and decisions made with respect to the peace talks.

An Iranian diplomatic delegation, led by Jaberi Ansari, left for Kazakhstan on Monday morning to attend the third round of negotiations between the Syrian government and the foreign-backed militant groups in pursuit of peace in the Arab country.

The two-day negotiations include representatives of the Damascus government, the Syria’s foreign-backed militants, Iran, Russia and Turkey.

In February, at the conclusion of the second round of the Astana talks, Jaberi Ansari hailed a “calmer and more conciliatory” atmosphere than the first round.

Diplomatic efforts to end fighting in Syria have gained momentum in recent months with the announcement of a ceasefire in the Arab country in early January.

The truce, which was negotiated between Russia, Iran, Turkey, the Damascus government and the Syrian foreign-backed militant groups, excludes terrorist groups such as Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

Syria has been gripped by war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh, controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

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