Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov of Russia and Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran have stressed the necessity of coordination of efforts between Moscow and Teheran ahead of the intra-Syrian talks due to be held in Kazakhstan’s Astana on January 23, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday.

 

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“The two top diplomats continued the discussion of the situation in and around Syria,” the ministry said. “The ministers stressed the necessity of further coordination in the context of the forthcoming intra-Syrian talks in Astana.”

 

“They also discussed a number of issues of bilateral Russian-Iranian cooperation,” the ministry added.

 

Astana will host talks on the situation in Syria on January 23. It is yet unknown who will take part in the negotiations. It is expected that participants will include representatives of the Syrian government army and armed opposition groups. The talks are to focus on issues of maintaining ceasefire throughout the country. Plans to hold consultations in Astana were announced after a meeting between Russia’s, Turkey’s and Iran’s foreign minister in Moscow on December 20, 2016. The three ministers spoke in favor of a nationwide ceasefire in Syria.