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Iran, Russia diplomats hold talks on situation in Yemen

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Demonstrators gather and burn tires in Yemen on March 25, 2015. (AFP)

A high-ranking diplomat of Iran’s Foreign Ministry has held talks with authorities in Moscow over the situation in Yemen.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with his Russian counterpart, Mikhail Bogdanov, in the country’s capital on Wednesday.

"During the discussion of the situation in the Republic of Yemen the common opinion was expressed about the need to settle the acute domestic crisis in that country on the basis of a broad national dialogue involving all influential political forces in Yemen," the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a report.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

"Such a dialogue is meant to stabilize the situation in the country, preserve its territorial integrity and unity, find solutions of political and economic problems facing the Yemeni society acceptable for all sides, and prevent the transformation of the country into a new seat of international terrorism. Support was confirmed for corresponding efforts made by special adviser of the UN Secretary General for Yemen Jamal Benomar," it added.

The meeting was held as reports said Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi escaped the country on a boat from the southern port city of Aden where he was staying.

Meanwhile, the Houthi movement's Ansarullah fighters who took the capital Sana’a last September, managed to seize the city’s international airport.


Iran briefed on inter-Syrian talks

Amir-Abdollahian and Bogdanov also discussed the crisis in Syria, focusing on inter-Syrian talks, whose second round is scheduled to be held by the Syrian government and opposition in Moscow between April 6 and 9 in an effort to end a conflict that has gripped the country since 2011.

"The Russian side shared information about the current preparations for the second inter-Syrian consultative meeting due in Moscow on April 6-9 that could create favorable prerequisites for organizing meaningful talks between the Syrian government and opposition in the interests of achieving national accord on the basis of the June 30, 2012 Geneva communiqué," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Bogdanov and Abdollahian expressed deep concern about the large-scale threat to the region coming from the ISIL and other terrorist groupings and spoke for intensifying efforts to guarantee broad counterterrorist interaction on the basis of respect for generally recognized norms and principles of international law," it noted.


Reality vs. illusion

 At a press conference following the meeting, the Iranian diplomat also commented on nuclear talks with the P5+1 group, calling on the other party to adopt a realistic approach.

"The ball is now on the other side. The Western countries must take realistic decisions on this issue [preparation of nuclear deal]," the Russian Sputnik news service quoted him as saying. “The decision is not that difficult. They must simply choose between the reality and the illusion".

Iran and the P5+1 countries - Russia, China, Britain, France, the US, and Germany - are in talks to work out a comprehensive agreement aimed at ending the longstanding dispute over the Islamic Republic’s civilian nuclear work as a July 1 deadline approaches.


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