01:46 GMT +321 July 2019
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    In this May 18, 2017, photo, a Syrian National flag hangs out of a damaged building at the mountain resort town of Zabadani in the Damascus countryside, Syria.

    Russia’s Defense Ministry to Help Reconciliation Committees in Syria Safe Zones

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    According to Russian Armed Forces group commander, Defense Ministry will promptly help the Syrian national committees in their efforts toward achieving and maintaining reconciliation and peace.

    LATAKIA (Syria) (Sputnik) The Russian Defense Ministry will promptly help the Syrian national committees, located in each of the country's newly established safe zones, in their efforts toward achieving and maintaining reconciliation and peace, the Russian Armed Forces' group commander in Syria said Thursday.

    "If the issues that we need to immediately review [emerge], we are ready to consider any matter, which a national committee of any de-escalation zone will determine in the shortest amount of time possible and most effective manner," Сol. Gen. Sergei Surovikin said at the first joint session of the committees.

    Representatives of the committees on national reconciliation, which operate in the de-escalations zones in the Homes, southern Al Qunaitra and Daraa provinces, and in eastern Ghouta, took part in the joint video conference. The session was broadcast from the cities of Daraa, Damascus, Homs and Latakia.

    The committees consist of local authorities, Syrian opposition and representatives of the Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation.

    Earlier, local authorities of Syrian provinces conducted video conferences with representatives of the country's armed opposition to discuss humanitarian issues and the interrupted academic year. According to the participants, such form of communication has become a new step toward national reconciliation in Syria. The video conferences were initiated by Russia.

    In May, Iran, Russia and Turkey, the three guarantor states of the Syrian ceasefire regime, signed at the Syrian settlement talks in Astana a memorandum on the establishment of de-escalation zones. Specifically, the memo stipulates the creation of four de-escalation zones. As of today, the guarantor states have managed to reach agreements with opposition groups on creating three zones, with the third agreed upon in late July. The consultations on the fourth safe zone in the Idlib province are ongoing.

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    peace, reconciliation, safe zones, Sergei Surovikin, Damascus, Syria
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