19:01 GMT +321 August 2019
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    Ministerial meeting of Russia, the USA, Saudi Arabia and Turkey on Syria in Vienna. From left: Turkey's Foreign Minister Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia Adel al-Jubeir, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

    Russian, US, Saudi, Turkish Top Diplomats Hold Syria Reconciliation Talks

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    The top diplomats of the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are currently holding talks in Vienna, Austria to seek common ground on how to end the four-year Syrian civil war.

    VIENNA (Sputnik) — The current round of talks comes ahead of a broader Friday meeting of main regional players, including Iran.

    All key players, including UN Security Council permanent members and such countries as Iran, Egypt, and Iraq are expected to participate in the talks on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier in the day.

    US State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed Tuesday that Washington extended an invitation to Iran, a country considered to be a key backer of the current Syrian government.

    Russia welcomed Iran’s decision to attend the Vienna talks, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying they "support the expansion of this dialogue."

    Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with troops loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting on multiple fronts against opposition factions and extremist groups.

    Since the beginning of the war in Syria, the United States and its allies have supported opposition factions they consider to be "moderate," calling for Assad's resignation. Russia and Iran recognize Assad as the legitimate Syrian authority.

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

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    Syrian conflict, Sergei Lavrov, Vienna, United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia
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