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    Members of the Russian Military police stand guard in the northern city of Manbij as Syrians who fled the city of Aleppo due to the fighting prepare to return to their hometown, on April 5, 2017

    'Russia Has Special Responsibility' in Implementing Safe Zones in Syria - Berlin

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    Memorandum on Safe Zones in Syria (89)
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    Russia bears the special responsibility of implementing the agreement on the establishment of four safe, or de-escalation, zones in Syria, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — On Thursday, during the fourth round of the Astana talks, all parties agreed to adopt a memorandum on the creation of four safe zones in Syria, which was then signed by the Syrian ceasefire guarantor states: Russia, Iran and Turkey.

    "The German government welcomes any initiative that leads to de-escalation, to diminishing violence in Syria, and that makes the provision of necessary humanitarian assistance and security possible. The establishment of security zones may become a step in the right direction. The question is whether this initiative will be implemented. And there we see the special responsibility of Russia. Russia must ensure that the Syrian regime is behaving differently than in the past, [that the Syrian government] adhered to agreements, especially considering the ban on flights, as well as the delivery of humanitarian assistance," Seibert said at a briefing.

    Seibert added that the implementation of the memorandum may lay down the the groundwork for the political process in Geneva.

    "Without this political process there can be no sustainable de-escalation, no sustainable stabilization. Astana has to create a framework for negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations," Seibert stressed.

    The Syrian civil war has been raging for six years, with government forces fighting against both Syrian opposition groups who strive to overthrow President Bashar Assad, and numerous extremist and terrorist groups such as Daesh and al-Nusra Front (Jabhat Fatah al Sham), both of which are outlawed in Russia.

    Syrian settlement talks take place on two parallel platforms: the UN-mediated Geneva talks, and the Astana talks, brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran. The fourth round of Astana talks began on Wednesday and concluded the following day.

    Topic:
    Memorandum on Safe Zones in Syria (89)

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    safe zones, The Syrian war, Steffen Seibert, Germany, Syria, Russia
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