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    Portrait of President Bashar al-Assad on the Bank of Syria building in Damascus.

    Iran to Continue Supporting Assad, Intra-Syrian Talks - Deputy FM

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    Iran will continue supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad and Syrians in their fight against terrorists.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Iran will continue supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Syrian people in fighting terrorism, as well as making efforts to achieve success at intra-Syrian talks, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told Sputnik.

    "We will continue to support Assad and the Syrian people in their struggle against terrorism, and we will make efforts to ensure that political negotiations are successful," Amir-Abdollahian said after talks with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

    The Iranian diplomat underscored consensus with Russia in the need to combat terror and pursue political efforts at settling the civil war in the Syrian Arab Republic that has claimed an estimated 400,000 lives in five years.

    "We believe it is necessary to push forward the political process, and the Geneva talks are the only way to resolve the Syrian issue," Amir-Abdollahian stressed.

    At the same time, Iran sees intra-Syrian talks in Geneva as the only way to settle the conflict in the country.

    "We think that political process should be promoted, and the Geneva negotiations are the only way to settle the Syrian issue, that is the political settlement via intra-Syrian dialogue, meaning government, opposition and civic society representatives," Amir-Abdollahian said.

    However, no invitations have been sent for the next International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting before the final date of the session between stakeholders is confirmed, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said.

    "The invitations for certain countries to be present on May 17-18 have not yet been sent, we have to wait for final confirmation of the date," Abdollahian said after discussing the schedule with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

    The ISSG was formed in November 2015 as an international format to resolve the Syrian crisis. Russia and the United States co-chair the ISSG, which includes Iran and 15 other countries, as well as the United Nations, the Arab League and the European Union.


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