Russian, Iranian Diplomats Discuss Syria Ahead of National Dialogue Congress

MOSCOW- The detailed coordination of approaches on the settlement in Syria ahead of the Syrian Congress of National Dialogue in Sochi is important for both Moscow and Tehran, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and the African Countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said at the beginning of the meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari on Friday, Press TV reported.

 He reported that the situation regarding the Syrian settlement will become the central issue of the talks. "Today’s meeting is very important to us, because we can specify some details and coordinate our approaches on the Syrian settlement issue," Bogdanov stressed.

He expressed gratitude to his Iranian counterpart for the visit, reiterating that on Friday Ansari will go to Sochi to participate in a three-lateral meeting of the Russian, Iranian and Turkish deputy foreign ministers on preparations for the Syrian Congress of National Dialogue.

The diplomat also noted that he will discuss with his Iranian counterpart a range of Middle East issues. "The situation in the Middle East is actively developing," he noted. "Different, sometimes contradictory, processes are going on there, so it is important to us to share our assessments, ideas and forecasts with our Iranian partners and friends."

Iran, Russia Must Boost close cooperation on Mideast

Jaberi Ansari, on his part, stressed Iran and Russia must hold close consultations on the developments in the Middle East and the Arab world.

"The two countries have great capacities to solve regional problems, particularly with regard to the fight against terrorism and we hope that these consultations will help boost and develop such capacities," Jaberi Ansari said.

He added that Iran, Russia and Turkey must make necessary preparations ahead of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, scheduled to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi later this month aimed at resolving the years-long crisis in the Arab country.

The Syrian National Dialogue Congress will be held in Sochi on January 29-30 following a similar initiative by Russia, Iran and Turkey in Kazakhstan.

Jaberi Ansari further said he had discussed with the Russian official the latest developments in regional countries, particularly in Iraq, Palestine and Libya, as well as Yemen which is reeling from Saudi aggression and blockade.

The senior Iranian official arrived in Moscow at the head of a delegation to hold talks with Russian officials ahead of the Sochi peace talks.