MOSCOW, August 23. /TASS/. Russia and Turkey have agreed to step up efforts to establish the fourth de-escalation zone in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Wednesday following consultations between Russian Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal.
"The two sides noted with satisfaction the substantial reduction in the level of violence in Syria after the establishment of three de-escalation zones as part of the ‘Astana process.’ They agreed to step up efforts to reach an agreement on the fourth zone in Idlib," the ministry said.
"The two sides emphasized that there is no alternative to the political settlement of the Syrian crisis in accordance with UN Security Council 2254," the Russian Foreign Ministry added.
A de-escalation zone in southwestern Syria, which includes the Daraa, Quneitra and As-Suwayda Governorates, began operating on July 9 following Russian-US summit in Hamburg. The de-escalation zones in Homs and Eastern Ghouta were set up later.