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Iran, Russia coordinate plans for Syria’s Astana talks

As a new round of Syria’s peace negotiations will be held in the Kazakh capital city of Astana in late October, ranking diplomats from Iran and Russia held a meeting to discuss the most recent developments in Syria and to coordinate policies for the settlement of crisis in the Arab country.

According to Tasnim news agency, in a meeting on Tuesday, 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 most recent development surrounding the de-escalation zones in Syria.

The also discussed a series of new proposals for ensuring sustainable peace in Syria.

Diplomatic efforts to end fighting in Syria gained momentum in 2017 with the announcement of a ceasefire in the Arab country in early January.

Syria’s warring sides have so far attended six rounds of peace talks in Astana, brokered by Iran, Russia and Turkey, known as the guarantors of a ceasefire in the Arab country.

The fourth round of those talks in May produced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.

The next meeting on the Syrian crisis settlement in Astana is expected to take place on October 30-31.

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.