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MOSCOW, January 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia believes that Iran should be inevitably part of comprehensive efforts aimed at settling the Syrian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after a meeting with Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif on Thursday.
One of the priorities of the talks was the situation in Syria, primarily the Geneva II Peace Conference, Lavrov said.
“Today we will have talks with Javad Zarif, tomorrow we will have talks with Walid Muallem, this does not mean we have a tripartite plan,” he said.
Earlier, a diplomatic source told Itar-Tass that Russian, Iranian and Syrian Foreign Ministers — Sergei Lavrov, Javad Zarif and Walid Muallem — would meet in Moscow on January 16. “The meeting is due to take place. But we can’t say in what format it will be held,” the source said.
Sergei Lavrov said after talks that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif would hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin later on Thursday.
“Our countries have long traditions of good neighborly relations and friendship. Mr. Zarif today will be received by Russian President Vladimir Putin,” he said.
“At our talks we have discussed the desire to comprehensively develop mutually beneficial bilateral co-operation, with emphasis on its economic component, we also hope for interaction in the interests of regional stability and international security,” Lavrov said.
“Russia’s key role in the settlement of the Iranian nuclear program is very important, and we welcome this role and hope for its continuation,” Javad Zarif said.In addition, he noted, Russia and Iran have common challenges, one of which is present in the region and threatens all — extremism. According to Zarif, this problem manifests itself in its malignant form — terrorism in various part of the world, including Russia. The Iranian foreign minister in this connection expressed condolences to Russia over the recent terrorist attacks in Volgograd.
“We attach value to Russia’s role in the prevention of a new war in the Middle East — in Syria,” he said. “We are sure that Russia’s role in the Geneva II conference will also be fundamental. We will discuss it today.
Talks between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif took place in Moscow January 16. Lavrov expressed his willingness to hear Zarif’s assessment of the progress of the fulfillment of the agreements, reached in Geneva on issues related to the full and final settlement of the situation around the Iranian nuclear dossier.
Javad Zarif in his turn said that he was sure the role Russia would play in the Geneva II conference would be fundamental.