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Russia-Turkey deal on Idlib no threat to Syria’s territorial integrity, Lavrov affirms

Moscow will insist Washington should stop attempts at creating an autonomy in Syria

SARAJEVO, September 21. /TASS/. The Russian and Turkish military have coordinated the specific borders of the demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib Governorate, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"The Russian and Turkish military coordinated the specific borderline of the demilitarized zone earlier, so the process for implementing the Sochi agreement [between the Russian and Turkish presidents] is in the active phase," he said.

The deal between Russia and Turkey on a demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib is an interim step, Lavrov said. 

"This deal is aimed at eradicating a terrorist threat. No doubt, this is an interim step, as just a demilitarized zone is created," Lavrov stressed.

"But this is a necessary step as the creation of this zone will make it possible to prevent the continuing cases of shelling from the de-escalation zone in Syria’s Idlib Governorate on the positions of Syria’s governmental forces and Russia’s Hmeymim base," he noted.

By mid-October, all members of the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group, outlawed in Russia, should leave this demilitarized zone and all heavy weapons need to be pulled out from it, Lavrov noted.

Moscow will insist Washington should stop attempts at creating an autonomy in Syria, he added. 

He said "the main threat to Syria’s territorial integrity comes from the eastern bank of the Euphrates, where independent and autonomous entities are being created under US control."

"We will insist this unlawful activity should be brought to an end. We have been saying so again and again to the Americans and in the UN Security Council," Lavrov said.