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UNITED NATIONS, September 22. /TASS/. The establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria must not be seen as a prelude to the country’s dissection, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Thursday.
According to the Russian senior diplomat, these zones were established as a temporary measure. "They have been established for a term of six months with possible extension, if need be," he said at a high-level meeting on Syria on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly.
He warned against interpreting these zones as "a kind of prelude to Syria’s subsequent dissection or division into influence zones."
In May, the Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations, namely Russia, Iran and Turkey, signed a memorandum on de-escalation zones in Syria. As of today, three such zones - in southwestern Syria, in Eastern Ghouta (a Damascus suburb) and around the city of Homs - are already functioning. The fourth one embraces the province of Idlib and parts of the neighboring Aleppo, Latakia and Hama provinces.