Zarif says meetings aimed to work on Sochi agenda

TEHRAN, Nov. 19 (MNA) – An interview released today, shows FM Zarif saying that the objective of Tehran talks of Saturday and Antalya meeting of Sunday was to work on the agenda and joint statement of Sochi summit of Wednesday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Iran’s IRIB, just before joining his Russian and Turkish counterparts in Antalya meeting, that the Astana talks have been successful so far and Iran, Russia, and Turkey are mulling over next steps.

“As you know the start of Astana peace process on Syrian crisis eleven months ago caused a great deal of de-escalation of hostilities in Syria,” said the Iranian diplomat.

“Humanitarian damages burdened on Syrian people saw a sharp decline and Syrian army received good opportunity to get more prepared and rebuild itself in war on terror and fight against the ISIL,” recounted the Iranian foreign minister commenting on the success of Astana process.

“Syrian people have got more focused on war on terror and garnered great successes so far,” he hailed the trend of events in the last 11 months.

“The presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia, and Turkey decided to improve and evaluate on the trend and agreed to have a meeting on Wednesday in Sochi to get more coordinated on future measures paving the way for next steps,” he added.

“To this cause yesterday in Tehran, high level expert of the three countries got together to discuss the final joint statement and the agenda of the summit of Sochi,” said Mr. Zarif.

“And the ministerial level of today in Antalya is following the same objective,” he maintained.

FM Zarif, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and their Turkish counterpart Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met in Turkish port city of Antalya in the morning on Sunday.

On Friday, the Russian top diplomat affirmed that the Antalya meeting will be a step before the major meeting of presidents in Sochi.

"As for the foreign ministers’ meeting of this troika - Russia, Turkey and Iran - its task is to prepare for the summit (in Sochi on November 22), and it will be held late this week," Lavrov said.

The Presidents of the three guarantor states will also meet on Wednesday in Russian port city of Sochi.

During the last week, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari visited Russian, Syrian, and Turkish capital cities to coordinate the process of talks in Antalya and Sochi. He met the diplomats of top officials of the three countries in his three-stop tour of countries involved in Astana Peace Process talks on Syria.

YNG/ 4148575

News Code 129549


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