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    De-Escalation Zones in Syria to Help Dissociate Warring Sides, Russian FM Says

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    Implementation of initiatives on the de-escalation zones in Syria will completely dissociate terrorists from participants of the regime of cessation of hostilities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday at a news conference after talks with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to Lavrov, in the framework of the efforts "taken by Russia, Turkey and Iran, a very important goal is achieved (if they are fully implemented) — the complete cessation of hostilities between the government and the armed opposition, which has disassociated itself from terrorists."

    "And if the initiatives that are being promoted now in the form of de-escalation zones are implemented, then we will have, for the first time in the history of the Syrian crisis, a situation when there will be a dissociation between the participants of the regime of cessation of hostilities and terrorists, as well as those, who… side with terrorists," Lavrov said.

    Russia and France have an understanding that the Syrian crisis should be resolved through dialogue while uncompromisingly fighting terrorists, Lavrov pointed out.

    "We have paid special attention to the situation in Syria. We have a common understanding that it is necessary to solve this crisis exclusively through an inclusive national dialogue with the active support of the world community, as envisioned by the decisions of the UN Security Council," he added.

    This should be done "with an absolutely uncompromising fight against the terrorist structures Daesh, Jabhat al-Nusra [banned in Russia] and other organizations recognized as terrorist by the UN Security Council," the Russian foreign minister said.

    Lavrov stressed that Moscow would not like US attacks on the Syrian Armed Forces to undermine efforts to combat terrorism, in the near future this question will be raised before US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

    "I do not want to make assumptions that these incidents with attacks on pro-government forces reflect the desire to undermine the effectiveness of anti-terrorist efforts."

    On May 4, Russia, Turkey and Iran signed the memorandum on establishment of four safe zones Syria as part of the Astana settlement talks. The 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.

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    Sergei Lavrov, France, Russia, Syria
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