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Russia and China share stances on Syria crisis

May 26, 15:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to set up four de-escalation zones in Syria

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© AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

MOSCOW, May 26./TASS/. Moscow and Beijing have the same stances on the Syrian settlement, Russia and China support the Astana format of negotiations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Friday.

"We exchanged opinions on a wide range of issues pertaining to key regional and global problems," the minister said.

"We have coinciding approaches to the situation in Syria, including within the context of supporting the Astana platform, where an agreement was reached to create de-escalation zones in Syria," the top diplomat said

Implementation of this concept "will become a major instrument in maintaining the ceasefire, ensuring humanitarian access and creating more favorable conditions for the start of an inclusive intra-Syrian dialogue in Geneva," Lavrov pointed out.

De-escalation zones

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 Astana, the four zones are Idlib province and some parts of neighboring provinces (Aleppo, Latakia and Hama), an area north of Homs, Damascus’s suburb Eastern Ghouta, and a number of provinces in southern Syria - Daraa and Al-Quneitra.

In those areas, combat operations, including flights by military aircraft, are outlawed as of May 6.

The memorandum was concluded for six months with chances of automatic prolongation for another six months. Russia’s Defense Ministry said earlier that the fight against Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups (outlawed in Russia - TASS) would be continued inside and around those zones.

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