News ID: 103780
Publish Date : 17 June 2022 - 21:58

NUR-SULTAN (Dispatches) -- On day one of the 18th round of Astana talks on Syria in the Kazakh capital, Iran’s representative stressed uniformity of views on Syria between Moscow and Tehran.
Ali Asghar Khaji, a senior aide to Iran’s foreign minister, told Russia’s Sputnik News that the Iranian and Russian delegations discussed all the important issues concerning Syria in a “very good” meeting.
“Our view is close to the Russian side, and there are common views that will be reflected in the final statement,” the senior diplomat noted.
The new round of peace talks on Syria in the Astana Format, which commenced on Wednesday, is attended by high-level delegations from Iran, Russian, and Turkey – the three guarantor countries.
A United Nations delegation led by Robert Dunn, political affairs officer of the special envoy for Syria, a Jordanian delegation, representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the International Committee of the Red Cross is also attending as observers.
Khaji is heading the Iranian delegation in the talks that seek to find a lasting solution to issues related to the war-ravaged Arab country.
The participants are expected to discuss issues such as the conditions for the safe return of Syrian refugees, the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in Syria, the work of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, confidence-building measures, the release of hostages, and the search for missing persons.
Iran and Russia, as the allies of the Syrian government, as well as Turkey, which sides with the opposition, set up the Astana peace process in January 2017 intending to put an end to the Syrian conflict through the involvement of the Syrian government and the opposition.
The 17th round of the talks was held in December last year.
Russian president’s special envoy

for Syria, Alexandr Lavrentyev, speaking on the sidelines of the meeting on Wednesday, said Moscow considers Ankara’s possible military operation in Syria “unwise” as it could escalate and destabilize the situation.
“We believe that it (a Turkish military operation) would be an unwise move that may destabilize the situation, escalate tensions and cause a new round of hostilities in the country,” Lavrentyev said, cited by Russian news agency TASS.
He said Russia has urged Turkey to refrain from military actions in Syria and to resolve the issue peacefully, adding that Russia will continue to help Syria.
In a separate statement, the Kremlin said that a possible Turkish military operation in Syria would not bring stability.
“We do not believe that this special operation will contribute to the stability and security of the Syrian Arab Republic,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently declared a plan to launch a new military operation into northern Syria to create a “safe zone” along the border.
Iran and Russia have rejected Turkey’s plan, saying they oppose the use of military action against regional countries.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran opposes any military action and the use of force on the territory of other countries with the aim of resolving disputes between them,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said late last month.

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