Russia, US move ahead to hammer out details in setting up Syrian de-escalation zones

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MOSCOW, /TASS/. Moscow and Washington will continue working on details of implementing de-escalation zones in southwest Syria’s Daraa, Quneitra and Sweida, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Monday.

“This cooperation will continue in terms of implementing the agreements approved for southwest Syria,” he said. “The July 7 memorandum, signed by us, the Americans and the Jordanians, envisages working on more details that will fix how these zones will operate in practice.”
“Despite the fact that a ceasefire was announced yesterday, there is still much to be done in order to ensure it, so we have a lot of work ahead of us,” the Russian top diplomat added.
The agreement concerning a ceasefire in southern Syria was reached at the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump, which took place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany’s Hamburg on July 7.
Amman monitoring center
According to Lavrov, “it has been decided that details concerning the implementation of the de-escalation zones will be agreed at the monitoring center which Russia, the United States and Jordan are setting up in Amman.” “The center will maintain direct contacts with both the government forces and armed opposition units,” the Russian foreign minister added.
“Russia will continue to take advantage of its military presence in Syria to actively support the Syrian government and opposition in their joint fight against terrorist groups, particularly using its Aerospace Force,” Lavrov said.
New de-escalation zones
“I expect that the success achieved in connection with the setup of de-escalation zones, as well as the progress reached at the Astana talks concerning three other de-escalation zones, will help us fight terrorists more effectively,” the Russian top diplomat stressed.
He pointed out that “the three other de-escalation zones are rather important, the discussion is underway within the framework of the Astana process.” “We are close to reaching a final agreement on the Homs and the eastern Ghouta zones, while talks continue on the northern zone, which is planned to be set up in the Idlib area,” Lavrov added.

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