Iran, Russia, Turkey FMs vow to boost efforts to settle Syria crisis

Kono calls for framework to aid Syria

Kono calls for framework to aid Syria

Moscow, Tehran and Ankara believe attempts to split Syria on ethnic and religious grounds to be unacceptable, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday following a meeting with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts - Mohammad Javad Zarif and Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Russian Federation hosted the trilateral talks to discuss current developments in Syria including the alleged chemical attack in Douma.

"The Astana process has succeeded in reducing an escalation in several areas in Syria", said Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

"At the same time, Russian Federation is still open for dialogue with all partners in the interests of fair settlement of the crisis on the basis acceptable for all Syrian groups and in compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254", the ministry said. Cavusoglu added that the three states need to work together to help the Syrian people resolve the crisis in their country.

Moscow was left embarrassed when days of warnings against the US, UK, and France were ignored and the three countries launched scores of cruise missiles on chemical weapons targets earlier this month following a toxic gas massacre in Douma, blamed on the regime. He said Saturday's meeting would discuss "what further steps can be taken". Russian Federation claimed the chemical attack was staged to discredit Mr Al Assad.

Their positions on the suspected chemical attack are irreconcilable, he said.

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Nevertheless, the limited nature of US-led strikes suggests the "peak of tensions has passed", he said.

The most recent Syria talks attended by the foreign ministers in Astana were held on March 16.

Critics of the Astana talks are "trying to show that they today decide all the affairs in our world, but fortunately their time has passed", he said.

Eight rounds of talks under United Nations auspices in Geneva have made little headway, with the Syrian regime showing little interest.

The three nations have been attempting to resolve the Syrian conflict at talks that started a year ago in Astana, Kazakhstan, in competition with a USA and UN-backed Geneva initiative.

Putin hosted a summit on Syria with the Iranian and Turkish presidents in November.

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