19:36 GMT04 July 2020
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    Turkish Foreign Minister said that de-escalation zones in Syria should be controlled by troops under the auspices of the United Nations.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) De-escalation zones in Syria should be controlled by troops under the auspices of the United Nations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday.

    "The process initiated in Astana, continues in a very effective way. The issue which is currently under discussion is which troops should be deployed there to monitor de-escalation zones. No one will mind if they are under UN control," Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by the Aksam newspaper.

    He added that the first meeting of the working group on de-escalation zones in Syria with the participation of guarantor countries — Turkey, Iran and Russia — took place in Ankara on Thursday, while the next meeting is scheduled for May 21.

    At the latest Astana meeting on Syria on May 3-4, three ceasefire guarantor states finalized and signed a memorandum on establishment of four safe zones in Syria. The four zones span the northwestern Idlib province and parts of the neighboring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo, the north of the central Homs province, Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, as well as southern Daraa and Quneitra regions. The memorandum came into force on May 6.

    A nationwide Syrian ceasefire regime came into force on December 30, 2016 and has been holding up in general, despite continued reports of violations. The UN Security Council passed a resolution in December 2016 supporting the effort.

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