Russia, Turkey, Iran agree on 'safe zone' for Syria's Idlib

16 September, 2017, 02:22 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Smoke rises from buildings following a strike on a rebel-held area of the Jobar district east of the Syrian capital on Thursday

Russia, Iran and Turkey, the three guarantors of the Astana process over Syria, will be involved in control of the de-escalation zone in Idlib, said Lavrentyev.

The Syrian army regained territory from Islamic State in central and eastern Syria on Wednesday as ceasefire talks got under way again in Kazakhstan.

The establishment of "safe" zones has led to a marked drop in fighting. Russian Federation and Iran have been strong supporters of Bashar al Assad during Syria's six year civil war, while Turkey has backed the rebel factions fighting against the government.

"[The guarantor states] emphasize again that the creation of the de-escalation areas and security zones is a temporary measure the duration of which will initially be 6 months and will be automatically extended on the basis of consensus of the guarantors", the statement read.

The three powers also agreed to post observers at the zones, the Turkish foreign ministry added, with a mission to prevent clashes between "the [Syrian] regime and the opposition forces, and any violations of the truce".

The diplomatic push brings together the Syrian government and representatives of the opposition, including some key armed groups who had previously steered clear of other negotiations.

Emphasize the need for the conflicting parties to take confidence-building measures, including the release of detainees/abductees and the handover of the bodies as well as identification of missing persons, to create better conditions for political process and lasting ceasefire.

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"They have worked out a joint statement and all four related documents", the source said.

The de-escalation zones will include, fully or partly, Eastern Ghouta, the provinces of Idlib, Homs, Latakia, Aleppo and Hama, according to a joint statement issued by the three guarantor countries following the sixth round of Astana process talks in Kazakhstan's capital on September 15.

"No de-escalation can be sustained without a comprehensive political process, and that is based in Geneva", he said.

On 4 May, Moscow, Ankara and Tehran agreed to set up four de-escalation zones in Syria.

The three countries did not declare a timeline was for the commencement of their Idlib plan. The Astana discussions produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria that sharply reduced fighting in the Arab country.

Speaking after negotiations involving regime backers Russian Federation and Iran as well as rebel-supporting Turkey, Alexander Lavrentyev expressed confidence that deals for zones in four parts of the country would be finalised on Friday.

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