News ID: 208204
Published: 0213 GMT January 16, 2018

Zarif, Lavrov discuss Syria, Iranian nuclear deal over phone

Zarif, Lavrov discuss Syria, Iranian nuclear deal over phone

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov discussed Syrian crisis and Iran’s nuclear deal in a phone call on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"The sides exchanged views on a number of vital international issues, in particular the Syrian settlement in the context of holding the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi and also the situation around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program," the ministry said.

The US announced Sunday that it will work, along with a coalition of its allies purportedly fighting Daesh, with US-backed armed forces of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to set up a new 30,000-strong “border security” force.

Washington's border force plan drew angry reactions from both Syria and Russia, with Damascus describing it as a “blatant assault” on its sovereignty.

The foreign ministers also discussed the drafting of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. The document is expected to be signed at the upcoming 5th Caspian summit in Kazakhstan.

The Caspian Sea Convention will determine the territorial rights of littoral states as well as other matters related to the world's largest landlocked body of water.

The question of defining the legal status of Caspian Sea reopened after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the emergence of new subjects of international law, namely Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan as states, raised the question of demarcation of the Caspian Sea among the five countries.

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