Iran’s top diplomat in Turkey to discuss Syria, Libya
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Iran’s top diplomat in Turkey to discuss Syria, Libya

That was announced by Zarif upon arrival in the Turkish capital, Ankara, which is his second visit to the country during the past few weeks. Speaking to reporters, the top Iranian diplomat said during his one-day stay in Turkey, he will “discuss regional issues, in particular Syria and matters related to Northern Africa”, particularly the situation in Libya, where the self-styled commander Khalifa Haftar has attempted a “coup” against the internationally-recognized government, according to the UN.  “We will also discuss bilateral ties, on which we have already had good talks with Turkey,” he added. He said economic cooperation between Iran and Turkey, and following up on the implementation of agreements earlier reached between the two sides will also be on the agenda of his talks with top Turkish officials. Zarif’s trip to Turkey comes after he visited the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Tuesday. During his stay in the Arab country, the Iranian top diplomat discussed Tehran-Damascus cooperation, and the process of restoring peace to the war-torn state. “In Syria, we made good arrangements on the upcoming meeting of the Astana Process, as well as international cooperation within the framework of the UN with the aim of finding a political solution to Syria [crisis],” Zarif said in Ankara. The arrangements of Astana talks were particularly discussed in a meeting between Zarif and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Astana Process refers to an initiative by Iran, Russia, and Turkey which mediate peace negotiations between representatives from the Damascus government and opposition groups in a series of rounds held in the Kazakh capital Astana - recently renamed as Nur-Sultan - and other places since January 2017. The talks, which are collectively referred to as the Astana peace process, have so far helped significantly reduce the violence gripping the Arab country by establishing four de-escalation zones there. They have also paved the way for the formation of a Constitutional Committee. This is while the parallel UN-backed peace process in Geneva has failed to deliver much.

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