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Russia, Iran and Turkey to hold Syria talks

December 19, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Image of a meeting in Moscow with Russian and Turkish delegations [Turkish Prime Ministry / Mustafa Aktas/Anadolu]

The foreign and defence ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey will discuss the future of Syria and the city of Aleppo at talks in Moscow tomorrow, Turkish and Russian officials said.

“[The meeting] will be to understand the views of all three sides, laying out where we all stand and discuss where we go from here,” an official from Turkey’s foreign ministry told international media in Istanbul today.

“It is not a miracle meeting, but will give all sides a chance to listen to each other,” the official said.

All three countries have emerged as important players in Syria, with Iran and Russia strongly backing President Bashar Al-Assad, while Turkey, a NATO member, would like to see him step down.

Turkey’s main priority however, is to ensure that Kurdish militias are unable to gain further territory in Syria along its borders.

The Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement that tomorrow’s meeting would focus on how the multi-year conflict in Syria could be resolved and on fulfilling UN Security Council resolutions.

The RIA news agency cited Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as telling reporters: “We hope to speak in detail and concrete terms with those who can really bring about an improvement in the situation on the ground, while our Western partners are busier with rhetoric and propaganda and aren’t influencing those who listen to them.”