Russia, Iran Leaders Pledge to Push for Syria Talks

The Russian and Iranian presidents met Tuesday to discuss security in the Middle East, energy pacts globally and cooperation across various spheres between the two regional powers.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Moscow on Monday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his latest foreign trip before the May presidential election.

The Tuesday summit saw the leaders discuss projects in areas such as energy, infrastructure and technology and the signing of several cooperation memorandums, as well as a deal on visa-free group travel.

Speaking at a joint press briefing, Rouhani linked lasting peace and stability in the Middle East to the eventual defeat of terrorism and vowed to build on the “good experience” that Iran shared with Russia in this regard.

“We discussed cooperation and interaction which we are leading in the fight against terrorism. We shall continue this struggle until the end of all terrorist activities in the region,” he told reporters.

Rouhani commented on the deteriorating security in Central Asia’s Afghanistan, which faced “terrorist threats from extremist forces.” He said Iran and Russia had agreed to continue strengthening a democratic Afghanistan to help it on the way toward becoming free and prosperous.

Turning to Syria, the leaders reiterated in a joint statement that a peaceful solution was the only way of ending the six-year Syrian conflict and reaffirmed their support for a political and diplomatic approach based on the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2254.

Putin praised cooperation between the two allies that was instrumental to reaching a cessation of hostilities pact for Syria, also mediated by Turkey, while his Iranian counterpart said peace talks in Kazakhstan’s Astana would continue until all people in Syria have their rights fulfilled.

“Our ultimate goal is to strengthen peace and stability in the region. The development of our relations is not directed against third countries,” Rouhani emphasized.





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