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Russian, Iranian diplomats discuss Syrian settlement, intra-Syrian talks

May 04, 2016, 20:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, May 4. /TASS/. The Syrian conflict settlement and the progress of intra-Syrian negotiations have been discussed by Russian President’s Special Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Wednesday after another round of Russian-Iranian consultations on the Middle East problems.

"During the consultations the sides had a detailed exchange of views on a range of issues of Syria’s political settlement in accordance with Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council and the decisions of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), including in the context of the task to maintain the ceasefire regime in Syria and ensure inclusiveness of the intra-Syrian negotiating process Geneva, a regular round of which took place on April 13-27 with mediation of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura", the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

According to the ministry, the sides also discussed a number of other topical issues of regional agenda, including the Yemeni settlement problems and the developments in Lebanon, Iraq and in the Palestinian territories.

The conflict in Syria has lasted since March 2011. Earlier in April, Staffan de Mistura said the hostilities in the country have left 400,000 people dead. Later he specified that it was his personal assessment. Up until now, the UN has named the death count of over 250,000 in Syria.

The ceasefire regime took effect in Syria on February 27. Shortly before, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution supporting a cessation of hostilities. The document drafted by Russia and the United States was backed by all 15 Security Council member states. The ceasefire regime does not cover the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations as well as other groups ruled terrorist by the Security Council.

Russia takes an active part in the Syrian settlement effort. It helps Syria's authorities fight terrorists and has conducted mine clearing work in the ancient city of Palmyra.

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

On March 14, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to start, from March 15, withdrawing the main part of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ group from Syria. Putin said the tasks set before the military "have been fulfilled on the whole." Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said strikes on terrorists will continue to be delivered.

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