MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif agree that the intra-Syrian talks in Astana were an effective platform for the resolution of the Syrian conflict and pledge to keep up close coordination of efforts on conflict resolution, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Saturday.
"It was stressed that the meeting [in Astana] became an efficient platform for a direct dialogue between the government of Syria and representatives of armed opposition in order to strengthen ceasefire, restore peace and calm in the country. [The ministers] expressed readiness to continue using the Astana talks' experience and opportunities to facilitate the active work on the resolution of the Syrian conflict in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254. The ministers agreed to maintain close coordination of efforts on political settlement of the Syrian conflict," the ministry said, following the two ministers' phone conversation.
"Both sides have highly appraised the international meeting on Syria in Astana on January 23-24, that took place at the invitation of Kazakhstan in response to the appeal of Iran, Russia and Turkey, with the participation of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and the US observer," the ministry said.
The Astana talks on Syrian crisis settlement brought together the representatives of the Syrian government and the armed opposition groups for the first time in the six years of the Syrian war. As a result of the talks, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to establish a trilateral mechanism to monitor the ceasefire that came into effect on December 30, 2016.
Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front and Daesh, banned in a range of countries, including Russia.