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Iran, Russia presidents discuss Syria crisis over phone

19 December 2016 21:36

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The presidents of Iran and Russia have discussed the latest mutual, regional and international issues, particularly the developments in Syria.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a conversation over the telephone on Monday.

The Iranian president said Tehran and Moscow must hold further consultations and cooperation and dispatch more medical and food supplies to the Syrian people while encouraging other countries to also engage in the humanitarian undertaking.

“It is very important that the Syrian people feel they are not alone in the fight against terrorists,” Rouhani stated.

He slammed Western countries’ disregard for the innocent people who are targeted by terrorists in different Syrian cities under very tough conditions.

He welcomed the scheduled meeting among the Iranian, Russian and Turkish foreign ministers in Moscow on Tuesday which, he said, can lead to further coordination among the three countries about ways to help the Syrian people.

Furthermore, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan is to hold talks with his Russian and Turkish counterparts Sergei Shoigu and Fikri Isik, respectively, in Moscow on Tuesday to address the latest developments in the region and the situation on the ground in Syria, especially in Aleppo.

The Syrian government managed to liberate Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, after weeks of advances and blistering attacks against foreign-backed militants, who had been holding the eastern part of the city since 2012.

Since March 2011, Syria has been hit by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies. The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the UN have put the death toll from the Syria conflict at more than 300,000 and 400,000, respectively.

The Russian president, for his part, hailed the liberation of the Syrian city of Aleppo from foreign-backed militants and said Tehran and Moscow must proceed with their cooperation after the valuable achievement.

Putin also stressed the importance of dispatching humanitarian aid to Syrians, saying the international community, including Iran and Russia, is obligated to protect and support the defenseless Syrian people across the country.

The Iranian president’s deputy chief of staff for political affairs, Hamid Aboutalebi, had said earlier on Monday that Rouhani and Putin talked about coordination between Iran and Russia over future measures against terrorists and reinforcement of joint political steps to solve the Syrian crisis.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin confirmed the phone call between the Iranian and Russian presidents, saying Putin had expressed hope to Rouhani that the two could work together to find a resolution to the Syria crisis as soon as possible.

In a statement, the Kremlin said the call was Iran’s initiative on the eve of the Moscow meetings.

It added that Putin and Rouhani “underlined the need for joint efforts to launch a real political process aimed at a quick settlement in Syria.”

They noted that a quick launch of talks between the Syrian government and the opposition in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, would be an important step toward that goal, the statement said.

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