Russian President Vladimir Putin and Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei will hold a meeting in Tehran on Friday, the Kremlin’s top foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said.
The meeting would take place on the sidelines of an upcoming summit of the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey on Syria.
“Tehran will become a platform for bilateral talks. We are planning three bilateral meetings for our president – with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as separate talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Along with this, there will be a bilateral meeting with Turkish President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan,” Ushakov said, according to the Tass news agency.
In late November 2015, Putin met with Ayatollah Khamenei in Tehran. The Russian president gifted one of the world’s oldest Quran manuscripts to Imam Khamenei.
Speaking about the issues expected to be touched upon at the talks with Iran’s leadership, Ushakov said, “There will be both Syria and various aspects of bilateral cooperation, along with the situation around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), taking into account the US’ withdrawal from the deal.”
In April, the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey – the three guarantor states of de-escalation zones in Syria – held a meeting in Ankara to discuss ways for peaceful settlement of the crisis in Syria.
The three countries have so far held several rounds of peace talks in Kazakhstan’s Astana and elsewhere to help end the conflict in Syria. The fourth round of those talks in May 2017 produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.
Diplomatic efforts to end fighting in Syria gained momentum in 2017 with the announcement of a ceasefire in the Arab country in early January.
According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.