Forty-eight Iranians arrived in the Syrian capital Damascus today after being released by rebels in a prisoner swap deal.
It has reportedly seen them freed in return for the release of over 2,000 prisoners held by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Their safe arrival was reported by Iranian TV, although the Syrian administration remained tight-lipped on the exchange.
The 48 were kidnapped last August.
Rebels said their captives were linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, but Iran said they were pilgrims.
Tehran's ambassador in Damascus Mohammad Riza Shibani said they had been freed following complex and "tough" negotiations.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns would hold a summit in Geneva to explore ways to settle the crisis.
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