16 Sept 2016 – Amid a tenuous ceasefire across Syria, Iran has conferred with Russia about the next steps in the 5 1/2-year conflict in the country. – Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari concluded a three-day visit to Moscow on Thursday, including meetings with President Vladimir Putin’s top official for Syria, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.Iran and Russia are the two essential allies of Syria’s Assad regime. Moscow has also been pursuing bilateral discussions with the US, leading to the start of the ceasefire on Monday night. However, there are widespread doubts that the truce will hold, with both pro-Assad forces and rebels reportedly preparing for renewed offensives.
No details were given of the Iranian-Russian talks, as Jaberi Ansari said in his final press conference, “Iran views negotiation as the sole way out of the Middle East crises and the political strategy of the Islamic Republic will continue in this path.”
He emphasized that regular consultations between Tehran and Moscow are “more urgent than ever”.A statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry said the two diplomats had exchanged views on the situation in Syria after the ceasefire and the fight against “terrorist groups” as well as on access to humanitarian aid. The Ministry called for the resumption of political talks as soon as possible. www.mesop.de