Bloomberg reports: Russian-led talks on Syria ended with agreement Tuesday to bolster a cease-fire even as apparent tensions with Iran, a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, threaten to hold up efforts to end the six-year civil war.
Russia and Turkey included Iran to set up “a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the cease-fire” established last month, the countries said in a joint statement at the end of two days of negotiations in the Kazakh capital, Astana. The three nations will set up a joint military monitoring center on Syria in Astana.
Russia, which has criticized Syria for breaking the cease-fire, called on Iran to honor its commitments under the new accord. “Our military who are in Syria are doing everything to ensure that these violations by government forces don’t happen,” Alexander Lavrentiev, the Kremlin envoy to Syria who headed Russia’s delegation at the Astana talks, told reporters. “Iran can help, especially now, as a guarantor of the signed agreements, it will be obliged to respect the obligations it has signed up to.”
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