Iran Discusses Syria Peace with Russian, Syrian Diplomats

Astana hosting falconry competitions

Sputnik quoted a source as saying that the congress would most likely take place in mid-November in Russia's Sochi.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari met with Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari in Astana on Monday. Syria's United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura urged parties to move on from the zones towards "a more stable political settlement" during a mid-October visit to Moscow. "Although he had some reservations, he supported this initiative of Russian Federation".

"We expect that by the end of this year (Syrian) government forces will restore control over the eastern border of the Syrian Arab Republic and the "Islamic State" won't exist anymore as an organized military structure", Shamanov said.

Russia hopes that Turkey can stabilize the situation in Syria's Idlib Province where Moscow believes there is a high threat of attacks by militants, a senior Russian diplomat said on Monday, the RIA news agency reported.

The ongoing talks are aimed at finalising a plan for four so-called "de-escalation zones" across eight of Syria's 14 provinces.

Expert-level talks began that same day, and the high-level talks will continue until Wednesday.

Zhainakov confirmed that delegations from the Syrian government and the rebels seeking President Bashar al-Assad's overthrow had arrived in Astana, as had negotiators from Turkey and regime backers Russian Federation and Iran.

A de-escalation zones plan was first tabled in Astana in May to minimise fighting between government forces and moderate rebel factions, as well as improve access for aid for civilians living in the zones.

Under the operation, in line with agreements reached at peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, Turkish troops were tasked with monitoring a cease-fire and establishing a series of observation posts along the line between the Syrian areas of Idlib and Afrin.

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