Rus­sia says close to Syria deal with Turkey, Iran

Daily Messenger - - International -

AS­TANA: Rus­sia, Turkey and Iran are close to fi­nal­iz­ing an agree­ment on cre­at­ing four de-es­ca­la­tion zones in Syria, a se­nior Rus­sian ne­go­tia­tor said on Thurs­day.

The three sides are dis­cussing de­tails of the agree­ment at meet­ings in As­tana, the cap­i­tal of Kaza­khstan, Alexan­der Lavren­tyev, who leads the Rus­sian del­e­ga­tion, told re­porters.

“Our main task at this in­ter­na­tional meet­ing on Syria is to fi­nal­ize and es­tab­lish four de-es­ca­la­tion zones,” Lavren­tyev said. “We are very close to reach­ing an agree­ment on cre­at­ing th­ese four zones.”

The meet­ings, which also in­volve rep­re­senta- tives of the Da­m­as­cus gov­ern­ment and some rebel fac­tions, will con­tinue on Fri­day.

Lavren­tyev said the agree­ment was likely to in­clude pro­vi­sions on the de­ploy­ment of mon­i­tors - such as mil­i­tary po­lice ser­vice­men - in the four zones and, more specif­i­cally, on their bor­ders.

The pre­vi­ous round of Syr­ian peace talks in As­tana in July ended with no agree­ment af­ter Turkey raised ob­jec­tions.

Rus­sia and Iran, which back Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad’s gov­ern­ment, and Turkey, which sup­ports some of the rebels, have been hold­ing talks in Kaza­khstan since Jan­uary and the meet­ing this week is their sixth.

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