MOSCOW, January 13 (RIA Novosti) – The foreign ministers of Iran and Syria will visit Moscow later this week ahead of upcoming peace talks about the Syrian conflict in Switzerland, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.
“Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem will visit Moscow on January 16 and January 17, respectively, to meet with [Russian Foreign Minister] Sergei Lavrov,” the ministry said in a statement without providing further details.
The visits come as Russia pushes for Iran to be allowed to participate in the so-called Geneva-2 conference, due to begin in the Swiss town of Montreaux on January 22.
The talks in Switzerland are so far to be attended by Russia, the United States, China, France, the UK and about 30 other countries in addition to representatives from the UN, the Arab League, the EU and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry called for a partial ceasefire in Syria and an increase in the flow of international aid to the embattled nation during a meeting in Paris on Monday.
More than 100,000 people have been killed and 9 million people displaced since fighting broke out in Syria between government troops and armed rebels in 2011, according to the UN.