Foreign ministers meeting with Turkey, Syria, Iran in works
Officials of Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iran are engaged in preparations to set the time and format for a meeting of their foreign ministers, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Russia's state news agency TASS.
"On the agenda now is the organization of a meeting of the heads of foreign affairs in a quadripartite format," said Bogdanov, adding that "work is underway to determine the time."
The diplomat noted that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a joint news conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry that Moscow supported participation of Iran in any further talks to normalize relations between Turkey and Syria.
"That would make it possible to use the potential that was built up as part of the Astana process, which proved its effectiveness," Bogdanov said.
The defense ministers of Russia, Syria and Turkey held consultations in Moscow on 28 December as part of the process to normalize relations between Ankara and Damascus.
While Turkey currently holds parts of Syria under occupation and continues to vigorously support armed factions fighting against Damascus, the problems created by the presence of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey and Ankara's war against Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) have compelled Turkish authorities to seek rapprochement with Damascus.