MOSCOW, August 24. /TASS/. Moscow expects that consultations between Russia, Iran and Turkey will ensure the establishment of the Idlib de-escalation zone, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.
"We expect that the current consultations between the Astana process members [Russia, Iran and Turkey - TASS] will confirm the agreements concerning the fourth de-escalation zone - in Idlib, following the setup of de-escalation zones in western Syria, Eastern Ghouta and in the Homs area," the Russian top diplomat said.
"The initiative to set up de-escalation zones is aimed at creating conditions for putting an end to bloodshed and launching dialogue between the Syrian government and local authorities cooperating with armed units," Lavrov said. "It is perfectly clear that such dialogue and the ceasefire in general cannot involve terrorists from the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra groups [both outlawed in Russia - TASS], as well as other groups blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council," he added.
According to the Russian foreign minister, the issue of separating the armed opposition from terrorists was hard to agree on during the talks on de-escalation zones. "It is the goal that the Obama administration had vowed to achieve but failed," he pointed out.
"Rather effective steps have been taken recently to do it," Lavrov noted. "The armed units entering the agreements on the three already established de-escalation zones, have pledged to dissociate themselves from Jabhat al-Nusra, which remains a legitimate target for air strikes, alongside the Islamic State," the Russian top diplomat stressed.