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Russia To Host Turkey, Iran In Sochi For Talks On Syria Conflict

RUSSIA -- Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands following a press conference at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, November 13,2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Sochi next week to discuss the years-long civil war in Syria, the Kremlin says.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on November 16 that Putin, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Iranian President Hassan Rohani will meet in the Black Sea resort city on November 22.

The meeting would be the first three-way summit between the countries and will focus on reducing violence in Syria and matters related to the delivery of humanitarian aid to the region, officials said.

Moscow, Ankara, and Tehran also sponsor separate talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana, that involve warring sides in the six-year civil war and focus on battlefield issues, such as the formation of de-escalation zones in key regions of Syria.

The United Nations also sponsors talks in Geneva that look to establish a political solution to the war.

Russia and Iran back President Bashar al-Assad in the conflict, while Turkey and the United States support differing rebel groups fighting the government.

The summit at Putin’s official residence in Sochi will involve the three "guarantors of the process of political settlement and stability and security that we see now in Syria," Peskov said.

The civil war in Syria has killed more than 330,000 people, created 6.1 million refugees, and forced some 5 million people to become internally displaced.

Based on reporting by AFP, Interfax, dpa, and TASS