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Establishing Syria’s de-escalation zones to top agenda at Astana peace talks — diplomat

September 08, 13:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to Zakharova, participants in the meeting will "focus on ways to strengthen the ceasefire, increase humanitarian assistance and facilitate demining efforts"

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MOSCOW, September 8. /TASS/. Guarantors of Syria’s ceasefire, among them the UN, the US and Jordan, will discuss the setup and operation of the de-escalation zones in Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

On September 14-15, the sixth international meeting on Syria is scheduled to take place in Astana," she said. "During the conference, the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire - Russia, Iran and Turkey - as well as the observers - the United Nations, Jordan and the United States - plan to discuss the setup and operation of the de-escalation zones in Syria," the Russian diplomat said.

According to Zakharova, the meeting’s participants will "focus on ways to strengthen the ceasefire, increase humanitarian assistance and facilitate demining efforts."

Syrian de-escalation zones

The Syrian ceasefire guarantors earlier signed a memorandum on setting up de-escalation zones in Syria.

The de-escalation zones include the Idlib Province, some parts of its neighboring areas in the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo Provinces north of the city of Homs, Eastern Ghouta, as well as the Daraa and al-Quneitra Provinces in southern Syria.

Starting from May 6, military activities and aircraft flights in the de-escalation zones are banned. At the same time, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to take all the necessary measures to continue fighting against terrorists on these territories and in the rest of Syria.

The memorandum will remain in effect for six months and can be automatically extended for another six months.

Three de-escalation zones have already been established, while the fourth zone in the Idlib province is in the works.

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