Iran's FM to visit Moscow on Syria

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Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held separate bilateral talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu and then Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif, who stressed the warmth of their relationship in opening comments.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, has accused the U.S. of trying to divide Syria while ignoring global law by launching missiles into the country.

On April 14, the United States, France and the United Kingdom delivered a massive strike on Syrian targets in bypassing of the United Nations Security Council, saying the strikes had been a response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria's Douma on April 7 reported by some non-governmental organizations.

Iran, Russia and Turkey have reaffirmed their strong commitment to Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, vowing to strengthen trilateral coordination to find a sustainable solution to the ongoing crisis in the Arab country.

Lavrov said the three countries "must help the Syrians finish cleansing their country of terrorists". Russian Federation claimed the chemical attack was staged to discredit Mr Al Assad.

It noted that Zarif, Lavrov and Cavusoglu said the Astana talks must "ensure real progress in achieving a political solution in Syria through an inclusive, free, fair and transparent Syrian-led and Syrian-owned process based on the free will of the Syrian people."

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Lavrov said they "set back efforts to promote the political process" and Zarif criticized Washington's "destructive role".

French President Emmanuel Macron this month suggested the air strikes had driven a wedge between Ankara and Moscow, prompting an angry denial from Cavusoglu.

Lavrov said the US-led missile strikes on Syria "seriously aggravated the situation".

Kono and Zarif met on the sidelines of an worldwide conference on Syria, in which donor countries pledged $4.4 billion in financial assistance to the Middle Eastern country for 2018, including $14 million from Japan.

Eight rounds of talks under United Nations auspices in Geneva have made little headway, with Assad's regime taking little interest.

Russia, Iran and Turkey see themselves as guarantor states in negotiations between the Syrian opposition and government.