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    Senior Russian military commander Sergei Rudskoi (L) speaks during a news briefing on the situation in Syria, Moscow, May 5, 2017

    Putin: Syria De-Escalation Zones Shouldn't Become Territorial Division Prototype

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    Vladimir Putin expressed hope that de-escalation zones in Syria would not become the basis for future territorial division of the country.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope on Tuesday that de-escalation zones in Syria would not become the basis for future territorial division of the country.

    "I really hope (and what I am about to say is very important) that these zones do not become a prototype for the future territorial division in Syria. On the contrary, I expect that these de-escalation zones, if peace is established, and the people who will be controlling them, will cooperate with the official Syrian authorities," Putin said in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper.

    Putin also said that Donald Trump supported the idea of establishing de-escalation zones.

    "It was also very difficult to agree on these issues with the US. Incidentally, we have been seeing some shifts lately; and there are actual results. I spoke to President Trump on the telephone, and he supported the idea, in general, of creating de-escalation zones," Putin said in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper.

    "We are now considering how the interests of all the countries to the south of Syria can be best served, with consideration for the concerns of all the countries that face issues in this region. I am referring to Jordan, Israel and Syria itself. Of course, Russia is ready to heed what the United States and our European partners have to say. However, what we need is for the dialogue to be specific and concise, instead of empty talk about mutual claims and threats. There is a need for a real effort," Putin added.

    "I would like to note the constructive approach of Turkey and Iran, and, of course, the Syrian government, which, together with Russia, have managed to achieve a ceasefire. The ceasefire would not have been possible without the so-called Syrian armed opposition. It was the first and very important step towards peace," Putin also said.

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    de-escalation, Syria, United States, Russia
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