Russia, Turkey, Iran Sign Memorandum Establishing De-Escalation Zones in Syria

© AP Photo / Save the Children Man walks with a pair of children in hand hand through the rubble in Eastern Ghouta, Syria (File)
Man walks with a pair of children in hand hand through the rubble in Eastern Ghouta, Syria (File) - Sputnik International
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On Thursday, participants of negotiations in Astana on Syrian settlement adopted a memorandum on four safe zones in the country. Russia, Turkey and Iran, the Syrian ceasefire guarantor states, have signed the document.

Syrian army troops during an assault on the city of Halfaya in the north of the Hama Governorate - Sputnik International
Damascus Supports Russia's Proposal on De-Escalation Zones in Syria
According to the document, Russia proposed to set up security zones in the Idlib province, to the north of the city of Homs, in Eastern Ghouta and in the south of Syria.

The guarantor states of the Syrian ceasefire under the project of creating zones of de-escalation vowed to create a working group for its implementation within five days after signing the relevant memorandum, according to the signed document obtained by Sputnik on Thursday.

"Guarantors within five days after signing the memorandum will create a working group at the level of authorized representatives to determine the boundaries of disarmament, areas of tension and security areas, as well as to address technical issues related to the implementation of the memorandum," the text reads.

Aleppo, Syria, March 2017 - Sputnik International
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The preparation of the necessary maps of the "areas of tension and de-escalation areas" will be complete by May 22.

The memorandum envisages safe areas along the zones' borders to prevent direct fire between the warring sides: "Along the borders of the de-escalation zones, it is envisaged to create safe areas to prevent incidents and direct clashes between the warring parties."

The signing ceremony was interrupted by some members of the Syrian opposition who expressed their protest, some of them left the hall, according to Sputnik reporter.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced during the joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the two leaders, as well as the US President Trump, discussed the establishment of safe zones or de-escalation zones in Syria. "[It is] one of the ways to consolidate the ceasefire regime," Putin said.

Later that day, Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement it supports the Russian proposal on de-escalation zones.

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