Iranian Foreign Minister and his Syrian counterpart are in the Moscow for talks with the Russian officials ahead of a peace conference aimed at ending the deadly conflict in Syria.
Iran’s Moahammad Javad Zarif and Syria’s Walid Moallem arrived in the Russian capital late Wednesday on the same jet.
They were due to meet their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for trilateral talks, a day after meetings with President Bashar al-Assad, the Iranian IRNA news agency reported.
Zarif will also meet Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday to discuss curbs on its nuclear program and the possible purchase of missiles that could fend off punitive strikes by arch-foe Israel.
The talks between the Syrian government and its allies come four fays after a “Friends of Syria” meeting in Paris of mainly Western and Gulf nations backing the insurgents.
World powers are seeking to bring the warring parties together for their first direct discussions at the so-called Geneva II peace talks beginning on January 22.
“There is a strong Tehran-Moscow-Damascus axis emerging,” said Russian PIR Centre research institute analyst Andrei Baklitsky.
“Russia and Iran support Assad and a political settlement to the conflict — and this is the only thing working right now,” said the analyst. “The West has no other alternative.”
Source: Al Manar