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Russia, Turkey and Iran hold virtual summit over Syria, coronavirus

Wednesday's Astana summit between Russia, Turkey and Iran was held virtually [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 April, 2020

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Allies Russia, Turkey and Iran continued Syria negotiations during the seventh Astana summit, which was held virtually.
The foreign ministers of allies Russia, Turkey and Iran gathered virtually for the seventh Astana summit on Wednesday, the latest round of negotiations between the key players in Syria's ongoing war.

Russia's Sergei Lavrov, Turkey's Mevlut Cavusoglu and Iran's Mohammed Javad Zarif discussed Syria's Covid-19 outbreak, as well as the country's geopolitical issues, Cavusoglu said in a tweet.

"Discussed fight against [Covid-19] pandemic in the context of Syria," tweeted Cavusoglu. "Reviewed recent developments particularly in Idlib [and] East of Euphrates, political process, humanitarian situation [and] return of refugees."

The trilateral meeting follows a Tuesday phone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as Zarif's visit to Damascus for talks with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on Monday.

The last round of Astana talks took place in December last year.

A meeting between top diplomats had been scheduled for last month, but was postponed due to the global Covid-19 crisis.

The meeting coincided with the Assad regime's bombardment of the Idlib - Syria's last rebel-held territory - in a continued violation of a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey over the region.

Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu reportedly flew to Damascus last month to press the Syrian leader to respect the ceasefire, despite Moscow's key role in continuing hostilities during the nine-year war.


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