Iran FM Zarif, Russian FM Lavrov Discuss Ways to Boost Syria Ceasefire

Iran FM Zarif, Russian FM Lavrov Discuss Ways to Boost Syria Ceasefire
Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:10:52

Foreign ministers of Iran and Russia have discussed the latest developments in Syria, particularly the implementation of a sustainable ceasefire in the crisis-hit country.

In a Friday telephone conversation, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov called for constant bilateral consultations and closer coordinated efforts to help promote the ceasefire that has largely been holding in Syria over the past weeks.

The two top diplomats stressed the need for a stable political process, the dispatch of humanitarian aid and the fight against terrorist groups.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also said in a statement on the same day that during the phone call, “a stable political process with the participation of representatives of the Syrian government and a wide range of opposition groups…was stressed.”

The ceasefire, brokered by Russia and the US, came into force across Syria on February 27. It is supported by the Syrian government and dozens of militant groups on the ground. Takfiri ISIS and al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front terrorist groups are excluded from the ceasefire.

Zarif-Lavrov talks came as the Syrian government and the Saudi-backed opposition concluded a week of UN-backed peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland, in a diplomatic push to resolve the deadly crisis gripping the Arab country since 2011.

No exact date has been set for the resumption of the talks, but UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura has said the two sides would remain in negotiation.

According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the Syria conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond Syria’s borders.

Syria accuses some Western countries and their regional allies of funding and arming anti-Syria terrorist groups, including ISIS.

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