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Russian senior diplomat stresses US sends conflicting signals on de-escalation in Syria

May 19, 2017, 14:18 UTC+3 KAZAN

The Russian diplomat notes that Washington does not have a unified position and only has "approaches of various structures" on Syria

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KAZAN, May 19. /TASS/. Washington has made conflicting statements on Syria’s de-escalation zones and its steps on this track are contradictory, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Friday.

Acting Assistant Secretary for the US State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Stuart Jones said earlier this week that the US "has reason to be skeptical" in regards to the agreement on de-escalation zones signed by Russia, Turkey and Iran.

"Sometimes we hear conflicting statements from our American colleagues and partners and even see very contradictory practical steps, even on the Syrian track," Bogdanov said on the sidelines of the 9th International Economic Summit "Russia - Islamic World" in Kazan:

The senior Russian diplomat notes that Washington does not have a unified position and only has "approaches of various structures" on Syria.

"The impression that the new administration gives is that it does not have any tactics, nor more importantly does it have any strategy. It apparently searches for any way of solving problems, as it thinks, and maybe it is not very interested in some problems at all," he said.

"That’s why all this demands active efforts, and we are carrying it out, conducting political contacts and contacts between our defense agencies and other representatives," Bogdanov said.

On May 4, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to set up four de-escalation zones in Syria. Under a memorandum signed at the talks in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana, these four zones include the Idlib Province and some areas in the neighboring provinces (of Aleppo, Latakia and Hama), an area north of Homs, the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, and a couple of provinces in southern Syria - Daraa and Al-Quneitra. In those areas, combat operations, including flights by military aircraft, are outlawed starting from May 6. The memorandum was concluded for six months and can be extended automatically.

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