MOSOCW, December 28. /TASS/. Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and African countries and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei have discussed preparations for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress to be held in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on January 29-30, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday.
"While discussing the Syrian settlement issue, [the parties] focused on close cooperation between Russia and Iran in light of the results of the international meeting on Syria in Astana and as part of preparations for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress to be held in Sochi on January 29-30, 2018," the ministry said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the two diplomats discussed the situation in the Middle East "with an emphasis on the situation in Syria and Yemen." The meeting was initiated by Iran’s top diplomat.
The Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations - Russia, Iran and Turkey - agreed on December 22 following international meeting in Astana on convening the Syrian National Dialogue Congress on January 29-30, 2018. The participants in the forum are expected to discuss work to draft Syria’s new Constitution and hold UN-brokered elections on its basis. Russia, Iran and Turkey will hold a preparatory meeting in Sochi on January 19-20. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier said the list of the participants in the Congress includes about 1,700 names.