Expert meeting on Syria in Iran to review de-escalation zones: Russian FM

Moscow, Aug 8, IRNA – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Iran, Russia and Turkey meet in Iran to discusss implementation of de-escalation zones in Syria noting that the trio's initiatives have brought about important outcomes.

Commenting on the Iran-Russia-Turkey talks on Syria which have been held in Astana Kazakhstan, Lavrov said the talks led to positive developments.

Iran, Russia and Turkey are the three guarantors of peace in Syria. The three are to hold an expert meeting in the Iranian capital on August 8-9 to review the four de-escalation zones in Syria. The outcome of the expert meeting is to be discussed in the upcoming Astana talks which is to be held in the Kazakhstan capital in late August.

Five rounds of Astana talks have so far been held with the attendance of the three countries delegations, UN representatives, Syrian government, oppositions and observers in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The first round of Astana talks was attended by the Syrian government’s representatives as well as dissident groups on January 23-24.

The second round of the Astana talks took place on February 15-16 with the participants agreeing to set up a ceasefire monitoring group assigned by Iran, Russia and Turkey, that would report to the United Nations.

The third meeting involving the Iranian, Russian and Turkish and the UN delegations was held on March 14-15 while the US and Jordan participated as observers.

In the fourth round of talks, the participating countries and warring sides agreed to create four de-escalation zones in Idlib province, in northern parts of Homs, in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus and in the south of the country.

During the fifth round of Astana talks which was held on July 4-5, participants reached an agreement on formation of a Committee of National Reconciliation to halt the Syrian crisis.