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Iranian Official Holds Talks with Russian, Syrian, Turkish Diplomats in Astana

30 October 2017

In September 2015, Russian Federation launched an aerial campaign in Syria in what Moscow claimed was an offensive to defeat terrorist forces in the country, including the "Islamic State" militant group and al-Qaeda.

"In general, we can say that major tasks of Russia's military operation in Syria have been nearly accomplished", Shamanov told a meeting of the lower houses of parliament of Kazakhstan and Russian Federation in Astana.

According to reports, delegations from the Syrian government and armed opposition groups as well as the three guarantor states are present at the talks.

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Recent rounds of talks in the Central Asian nation have focused on ironing out the details of a Russia-led plan for four de-escalation zones in Syria.

The Iranian diplomat also sat down with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal who is leading the Turkish delegation in Astana negotiations.

During earlier Astana meetings, Moscow has offered a draft constitution of Syria, proposing to change the country's name from "Syrian Arab Republic" to "Republic of Syria".

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The last round of talks in September saw Russia, Turkey and Iran agree to jointly police a buffer zone in the contentious northern province of Idlib, where Ankara and Tehran are viewed as having competing interests. The zones will include certain areas of Idlib, Latakia, Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Eastern Ghouta, Deraa and al-Quneitra. Russian military police were then deployed to secure the areas.

"As you know [UN Special Representative on Syria Staffan] de Mistura has in principle supported the idea of holding the congress", Mr Lavrentyev said.

"I can confirm that Staffan de Mistura will not participate in the talks due to the Geneva talks, which will be held on November 28", TASS cited him as saying. Russia's military intervention two years ago in the Syrian war that has claimed more than 330,000 lives to date turned the tables in Assad's favour.

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Iranian Official Holds Talks with Russian, Syrian, Turkish Diplomats in Astana