• Iran, Russia must boost close cooperation on Mideast: Iranian diplomat

Iran and Russia must hold close consultations on the developments in the Middle East and the Arab world, Iranian Foreign Minister's Special Assistant for Political Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari says.

"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 in a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in Moscow on Friday.

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.

Many hope the talks could bring an end or significantly reduce the militancy in Syria although the United Nations insists that the initiative should not circumvent efforts led by the world body for reaching a political solution in Syria.

On November 22, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian and Turkish counterparts Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Sochi. They agreed to hold the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in the Russian city aimed at bringing to the table both the Syrian government and various opposition groups willing to enter into peace talks with Damascus.

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.

MG

Jan 19, 2018 18:20 UTC
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