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Russia, Iran, Turkey prepare for Syrian national dialogue congress

MOSCOW,  (Xinhua) — Russian, Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers met Sunday in the Turkish city of Antalya to discuss the preparations for a Syrian national dialogue congress, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The convocation of “an inclusive inter-Syrian dialogue” is aimed at restoring confidence between different factions and seeking compromises in the interests of a united and strong Syria, the statement read.

The congress is expected to be held in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, but the date and participants are not clear yet.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and their Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu at the meeting “noted a decrease in the level of violence in Syria, allowing the Syrian parties to make the transition from armed confrontation to a political solution.”

According to the Russian statement, the three ministers said the Astana process for Syrian settlement should continue. In parallel with the UN-backed Geneva process, the Astana talks guaranteed by Russia, Iran and Turkey have led to the establishment of four de-escalation zones in Syria.

The meeting of the top diplomats laid the groundwork for a summit of Russian, Iranian and Turkish presidents in Sochi on Nov. 22 as they spearheaded a ceasefire initiative in war-torn Syria through Astana process.

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