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Russia hopes to formalize deals on de-escalation zone in Syria's Idlib

11 September 2017 [16:40] - TODAY.AZ

By Kamila Aliyeva

Russia hopes that agreements on the creation of the fourth de-escalation zone in Syria in the province of Idlib will be formalized at Astana talks on September 14-15.

This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov following a meeting with his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubair.

"I hope that all those agreements that are coordinated according to the parameters of the fourth de-escalation zone in Idlib will be formalized at the upcoming meeting," Lavrov said.

The minister further noted that the countries that created the de-escalation zones in Syria will not preserve them forever and this is a temporary measure.

"This is not a permanent measure. No one who has agreed to create zones has intention of permanently preserving them, thus, in effect, creating some enclaves for many years on Syrian territory," Lavrov added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to hold talks with the leadership of Jordan on September 11. Amman will be the final destination of the second part of the minister’s Middle East tour, TASS reported.

Lavrov will hold meetings with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Al-Safadi and King Abdullah.

The Syrian dossier in the context of functioning of de-escalation zones and other regional crises tops the agenda of the talks. The dynamics of bilateral relations will also be considered at the meeting.

In Amman, the heads of diplomatic missions plan to conduct an inventory of the implementation of decisions and agreements concluded earlier at the highest level. Russia and Jordan have a regular dialogue on Syrian issues and are actively working in the Astana format.

The next high-level international meeting on Syria within the framework of the Astana process will be held on September 14-15 in Astana.

The participants intend to approve maps of de-escalation zones in the provinces of Idlib, Homs and East Gut, draft regulations on the Coordination Center, the working group on the release of detainees/hostages, the transfer of dead bodies and the search for missing persons, according to the guarantor countries.

To date, five rounds of negotiations on the ongoing Syrian conflict were held in Astana. Guarantors of a nationwide Syrian ceasefire regime - Russia, Turkey and Iran - had agreed on May 4 in the Kazakh capital, Astana, to establish "de-escalation zones" in war-torn Syria. The zones would cover the city of Idlib and certain parts of Latakia, Homs, Aleppo and Hama as well as Damascus, Eastern Ghouta, Daraa and Quneitra.

Syria has been locked in civil war since March 2011. According to UN's special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, around 400,000 people have died in the conflict while half the population has been driven from their homes.


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