Iran, Russia presidents discuss Syria, ties

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi held on Thursday a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation in Syria and cooperation in transport and energy.

In a Kremlin statement, the two leaders specifically discussed the “importance of continuing close coordination within the framework of the Astana process,” which was described as a “key mechanism” that should help resolve the war in Syria.

Raisi and Putin also addressed energy and transport cooperation between their countries, according to the Kremlin.

On Tuesday, the Iranian Foreign Minister’s Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs, Ali Asghar Khaji, emphasized his country’s role in any future solution to the Syrian civil war.

In an interview with the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA), Khaji said the Syrian crisis could not be solved without Iran.

Khaji added that his country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, talked with Syrian officials on a mechanism to continue the Astana format – which included the governments of Tehran, Ankara, and Moscow – and how the tripartite meeting could become a quartet.

Iran was not invited to the trilateral meeting held in Moscow between the defense ministers of Syria, Turkey and Russia in late December 2022.

Yet Khaji asserted that his country will participate in all relevant discussions on Syria.

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