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Jordan's King Meets Putin In Moscow, Praises Astana Talks On Syria

Jordanian King Abdullah II (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2015 (file photo)
Jordanian King Abdullah II (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2015 (file photo)

King Abdullah II of Jordan has praised the Syria peace talks that were held in Astana, Kazakhstan, earlier this week.

Speaking at the start of talks in Moscow on January 25 with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Jordanian king said Russia has a "crucial role" in resolving the Syrian conflict and "many other regional issues."

Putin said the Astana talks that ended on January 24 would become the basis for separate, United Nations-led negotiations in Geneva.

The three countries that sponsored the talks -- Russia, Iran, and Turkey -- said in a joint statement that they agreed to create a mechanism to monitor a fragile cease-fire in Syria.

But they failed to make toward progress toward a political settlement to Syria's six-year war.

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said the monitoring mechanism was an important development that could help the current truce to succeed where two previous cease-fires in Syria have failed.

De Mistura said the UN is the "main player in regards to the political process" on resolving the Syrian civil war and that the peace process should continue in Geneva.

The Kremlin said Putin's talks with King Abdullah focused on joint efforts to combat terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa but also covered opportunities for strengthening trade, economic, and cultural cooperation.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, TASS, and Interfax

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