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Russia's top diplomat says conditions in Syria ripe for defeating terrorists

The level of violence has considerably declined in four de-escalation zones

MOSCOW, September 25./TASS/. Conditions have been created for a prompt and final liquidation of a hotbed of terrorism in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

"A positive trend in the development of the situation in Syria is encouraging," the diplomat said at a reception marking the Islamic New Year. "The Astana process that we launched with the participation of Turkey and Iran has made it possible to arrive at the agreements as a result of which four de-escalation zones have been created, including in the south with the participation of Jordan and the US," he said.

The diplomat said "the level of violence has sizably decreased" in the four de-escalation zones, adding that "work has started there to restore destroyed facilities and social-economic infrastructure". Humanitarian situation is also improving in the de-escalation zones, the senior diplomat added. "Conditions have been created for an early and final liquidation of a hotbed of terrorism to achieve peace throughout Syria and hold an inclusive intra-Syrian dialogue on the basis of resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council," the foreign minister added.

"Ahead of restart of the Geneva process, we welcome efforts by Saudi Arabia towards uniting the opposition on a constructive platform of direct negotiations with the Syrian government," the minister said.

Syrian de-escalation zones

In accordance with a decision made by Russia, Iran and Turkey, the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire, de-escalation zones in Syria are being set up since May. 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.

In the mid-September, the guarantor countries announced the establishment of all the four de-escalation zones.