News ID: 170276
Published: 0649 GMT October 14, 2016

Zarif discusses crisis in Syria with Lavrov, Mogherini

Zarif discusses crisis in Syria with Lavrov, Mogherini

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for an “immediate and lasting humanitarian cease-fire” in Syria in a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart.

The conversation was the second between Zarif and Sergei Lavrov over the past 48 hours, coming in the wake of a fresh international push to end the conflict, Press TV reported.

Officials said US Secretary of State John Kerry would meet Lavrov in Switzerland on Saturday to discuss Syria. The meeting was expected to include foreign ministers from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, an informed Iranian source rejected the report afterwards, saying Zarif has no plans to take part in the Lausanne meeting.

Zarif earlier held phone talks with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, stressing Iran’s “principled position on the all-out fight against terrorism and terrorist groups” and finding “an inclusive political solution” to the Syria conflict.

Meanwhile, Lavrov contacted his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault to discuss fresh efforts for putting an end to the conflict.

A cease-fire expired on September 19 after being in place for only a week. Damascus refused to extend it after US airstrikes killed 83 Syrian soldiers at a military base in Dayr al-Zawr.

Russia later criticized the US for not doing enough to rein in terrorists, saying continued violations of the cease-fire made it “senseless” for Syria to stick to the agreement.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which started in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people, according to a UN estimate.


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