05:54 GMT23 February 2020
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    Memorandum on Safe Zones in Syria (89)
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    Damascus intends to adhere to the memorandum on de-escalation zones in Syria, but is ready for a resolute response should armed groups violate it, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Representatives of the countries-guarantors of the truce in Syria (Russia, Iran, Turkey) signed on May 4 a memorandum on the creation of four zones of de-escalation in Syria, which include the province of Idlib and seven other regions. According to the memorandum, any clashes between the government forces and opposition armed groups must stop within the zones.

    The memorandum on de-escalation zones took effect on May 6.

    "We shall implement [the memorandum], but if there will be a violation by any group, the response will be resolute," Muallem told a press conference.

    He added that it was "premature to speak of the success of the implementation of the memorandum."

    "Logistical details remain, the discussion of which will take place in Damascus. The scale of adherence to this agreement remains to be seen," the minister added.

    Muallem ruled out the participation of armed forces under the auspices of the United Nations in the implementation of the safe zone memorandum.

    "There will be no presence of international forces under the UN auspices. Russia as a guarantor clarified that forces of military police and monitoring centers will be deployed in these zones. International forces or the United Nations will have no role in these zones," Muallem told a press conference.

    The agreement between Moscow, Tehran and Ankara presumes the cessation of airstrikes and combat actions between the Syrian Army and militants who have already joined or will join the ceasefire regime, according to Chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy.

    The deal was discussed earlier this week during talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi.

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    Memorandum on Safe Zones in Syria (89)

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