Next year Moscow will host the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey early to discuss the Syrian conflict; on Friday, the Russia’s deputy foreign minister said, after the United States announced it was withdrawing troops from the country.
The conference will be the latest step in the Astana peace process set up in early 2017 by Russia and Iran, who support President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and opposition backer Turkey.
The Astana process was launched after Russia’s military involvement in Syria tipped the balance in the Damascus regime’s favor. It has gradually concealed an earlier United Nations-sponsored negotiations framework known as the Geneva process.
The past conference between Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Iran’s Hassan Rouhani and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan took place in Iran in September with the fate of the rebel-held Idlib province dominating the agenda.
The US President Donald Trump in a shock declaration recently said he was pulling out some 2,000 American soldiers from Syria, claiming the militant Islamic State group’s terrorists had been defeated.