Russia, Turkey, Iran create de-escalation zones in Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-16 11:21:13|Editor: Yang Yi
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ASTANA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Russia, Turkey and Iran which held a new round of peace talks on Syria Thursday and Friday announced here Friday the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria under a memorandum dated May 4.

Protected by all guarantor states, the de-escalation zones will be in Eastern Guta, some parts of the northern province of Homs and Latakia, and also in the province of Idlib, Hama and Aleppo. De-escalation zones in some parts of southern Syria will be created based on initiatives of Russia.

"The creation of de-escalation zones and safety bands is a temporary measure, the duration of which will initially be six months with an automatic extension on the basis of consensus of guarantors states," said Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov, reading out a joint statement of the guarantor countries of the ceasefire regime.

He also said that the creation of de-escalation zones does not undermine the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab republic under any circumstances.

Abdrakhmanov said that the guarantor countries have seen progress in the fight against terrorism and liquidation of such terrorist organizations as IGIL, Jabhat al-Nusra and all other individuals, groups, enterprises and organizations associated with Al-Qaida as a result of the functioning of de-escalation zones.

"Russia, Turkey and Iran confirm their intention to take all necessary measures to continue to fight them both inside and outside the de-escalation zones," he added.

The three countries have agreed to each contribute 500 military police to be deployed in Idlib to prevent incidents and provocations from opposing parties.

Representatives of the three countries also called on the international community to send to Syria more humanitarian aid and support the de-escalation zones in the country, adding that humanitarian aid Syria needs most includes de-mining facilities, preservation of historical heritage, restoration of life, as well as restoration of social and economic infrastructure.

Russia, Turkey, Iran are going to establish a joint coordinating center for monitoring the de-escalation zones.

It was the six round of peace talks on Syria in Astana, brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran. The Astana process, which started on Jan. 24, brings together the Syrian government and representatives of the opposition, including some key armed groups who were previously not allowed to participate in other negotiations.

The next round of Syrian peace talks will take place in Astana in late October.