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Turkey, Russia, Iran to participate in summit next month

Turkey, Russia, IranTurkey, Russia and Iran will participate in what would be a trilateral summit at Istanbul on April 4, according to diplomatic sources.

The summit is planned to be held after the hosting of Turkey-Russia High-Level Cooperation Council (UDIK) on April 3, an intergovernmental cooperation mechanism between the two countries.

The Syrian conflict is expected to be the issue to be discussed during the summit, along with other regional matters.

Separately, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will be heading to Moscow on March 12 to attend the sub-group of UDIK’s joint strategic group as well as attend the International Travel and Tourism Fair, Anadolu news agency reported.

Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke over the phone individually with his Russian and Iranian counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani respectively and agreed to hold a summit on the conflict in Syria.

Despite a ceasefire approval by the United Nations (UN), fresh round of airstrikes continued in the strife-torn Eastern Ghouta region in Syria as the death toll touched 800.

At least 24 civilians were killed on Tuesday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The regime forces have intensified their siege of Eastern Ghouta, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district and leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment.

Eastern Ghouta, which houses around 400,000 residents, has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years with humanitarian access being completely cut off.

In May last year, Russia, Iran and Turkey signed an agreement to set up de-escalation zones, in order to prevent airstrike-related incidents in some parts of Syria.

The de-escalation zones include- Idlib province, some parts of Latakia province, Hama and Aleppo provinces, Homs, Eastern Ghouta, Daraa and al-Quneitra provinces in southern Syria.

Syria has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011. Protesters have been long demanding the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his autocratic rule.

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