By Naila Huseynli
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held talks on Friday in Tehran ahead of a trilateral summit between the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey on the ongoing crisis in Syria.
According to IRNA news agency, Rouhani and Putin exchanged views about the Syrian crisis, international developments, the Iran nuclear deal and issues of mutual interest.
President Putin arrived in Tehran on Friday and was officially received by Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian.
Rouhani also held a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two sides discussed bilateral political and economic ties.
In April, the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey - the three guarantor states of de-escalation zones in Syria - held a meeting in Ankara to discuss ways for peaceful settlement of the crisis in Syria.
The three countries have so far held several rounds of peace talks in Kazakhstan’s Astana and elsewhere to help end the conflict in Syria. The fourth round of those talks in May 2017 produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.
Diplomatic efforts to end fighting in Syria gained momentum in 2017 with the announcement of a ceasefire in the Arab country in early January.
According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders
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