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Diplomat: Russia-US Agreement Doesn’t Affect Iran's Presence in Syria - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London- Iranian senior diplomat Houssein Jaberi Ansari has said that the presence of Iranian troops in Syria will not be limited by any Russian-US deal.
 
The Foreign Ministry’s Deputy for Arab-African Affairs stressed that his countries’ troops in Syria remain unaffected by stances of regional or international role-players.  
 
The diplomat was speaking after a meeting with Russian President’s Special Envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev who had earlier in the day held talks with Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani in Tehran.
 
“Even if others sign agreements [on areas] covering Iran’s presence [in Syria], these pacts would have no real impact,” IRNA quoted Ansari as telling reporters on Saturday.
 
The two diplomats led the Iranian and Russian delegations in Astana peace talks on Syria, whose fifth round was held on July 4-5. Ansari said they discussed in detail the latest Syrian developments and reviewed ways of resolving differences among players in the conflict blocking a political settlement.

Today, we tried to find innovative solutions to problems. We will have similar discussions with Turkish officials too, and in two weeks, we will convene an expert-level meeting in Tehran. We hope these meetings will help us gradually overcome obstacles,” he said.

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of diplomatic activity regarding the crisis in Syria and frequent meetings between Iranian and Russian officials.
 
The two countries, backers of the Syrian regime, and Turkey, a supporter of Syrian rebels, tried in the latest round of Astana talks to finalize an agreement on creating four de-escalation zones in Syria but failed.
 
They agreed to resume their discussions on creating the safe zones in Syria in the next round scheduled for late August. The next conference will be preceded by the expert-level meeting set for August 1-2 in Tehran.
 
The latest round of UN-brokered Geneva talks on political settlement of the conflict started last Monday and ended on Saturday. United Nations Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura said following the conclusion of the talks that little progress was made.
 
“Today, we tried to find innovative solutions to problems. We will have similar discussions with Turkish officials too, and in two weeks, we will convene an expert-level meeting in Tehran. We hope these meetings will help us gradually overcome obstacles,” said Ansari.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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