Russia planning Syria summit with Turkey, Iran: Lavrov

Russian foreign minister says Moscow preparing for new round of Syria summit talks with Turkish, Iranian presidents

Russia planning Syria summit with Turkey, Iran: Lavrov

Kremlin on Wednesday circulated a proposal to hold a new round of a summit meeting on Syria between Russian, Turkish and Iranian presidents.

The leaders of the three countries met before in trilateral summit meetings, in Russia's Sochi, in Istanbul, and in Tehran. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced the proposal during a meeting Wednesday with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Ansari.

"The Astana format is the most objective structure for moving forward on all tracks to overcome the Syrian crisis," Lavrov said.

Lavrov was referring to a peace initiative known as the Astana process -- a tripartite effort to secure peace and stability in Syria -- which began in 2017. It was brokered by Turkey, Russia, and Iran.

On Saturday, the leaders of Turkey, Germany, France, and Russia are set to meet in Istanbul in a quadrilateral summit to discuss Syrian refugees and the situation in Idlib.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.