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Diplomat: Turkey should encourage opposition to abide by agreement on de-escalation zones

May 05, 2017, 13:45 UTC+3

Russia expects Turkey to encourage the Syrian opposition to abide by the memorandum on de-escalation zones signed by the three guarantor countries on May 5

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, May 5. /TASS/. Russia expects Turkey to encourage the Syrian opposition to abide by the memorandum on de-escalation zones signed by the three guarantor countries on Thursday, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters on Friday.

"Our Turkish counterparts also are the guarantors of the ceasefire so they should work effectively to ensure that the Syrian armed opposition abides by the memorandum signed by Turkey, Iran and Russia," he said.

"Some technical details may require additional agreements, so we plan to hold further consultations in the near future to clarify all these issues, we expect to hold the consultations in the coming days," he said when asked who would monitor the implementation of the memorandum.

The Russian diplomat added that some technical aspects needed to be clarified that concern the monitoring of the memorandum’s implementation and the possibility to use aircraft in the de-escalation zones. "The situation is not easy, the parties should demonstrate their political will while everybody should understand the need to end the war and turn to other things which include the fight against terrorism and efforts to solve political issues at the Geneva talks, so that the Syrian people could unite topreserve their country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," Bogdanov added.

US involvement 

The US involvement in monitoring "depends not only on us," he said. "It is necessary to ask the Americans, other parties concerned whether or not they want that. There are certain problems here, for example, relations between the US and Iran."

Bogdanov noted that the details concerning the implementation of the memorandum, including involvement in monitoring activities, are to be clarified by experts and military officials of the countries acting as guarantors of the ceasefire (Russia, Iran, Turkey). "Some issues need to be clarified. Naturally, we need to rely on the Syrian parties’ opinion, primarily that of the the legitimate government, a UN member - the Syrian Arab Republic," he emphasized.

Bogdanov recalled that the United States is familiar with the agreements on de-escalation zones in Syria. Washington, in particular, took part in discussing them in Astana and then hailed the memorandum. Bogdanov noted that consultations on the issues related to the settlement in Syria will continue during the upcoming meeting between the Russian and US top diplomats next week and other contacts between Moscow and Washington. "Contacts with our American partners have intensified," he added.

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