Lavrov comments on Syrian de-escalation zone agreement
Final details of the southern de-escalation zone in Syria are being agreed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Kurdish television channel Rudaw on Monday. “On July 7, Russia, the United States and the Jordanian side agreed on the establishment of the first such [de-escalation] zone in southwest of Syria,” he said, TASS reported.
“Final details of how the functioning of this zone will be organized from the point of view of monitoring the ceasefire and from the point of view of ensuring unimpeded access for humanitarian cargoes and crossing the zone’s borders by civilians this or that way are now being agreed.”
“So, the approach that was committed to paper in Astana and is now being implemented in practice [along with the southern zones, three more such zones are to be established – TASS] encompasses the task of pacifying the situation via cessation of hostilities and concurrently via promoting solution of humanitarian problems,” Lavrov noted.
“As is generally recognized, the active and rather resultative Astana process has, to a larger extent, helped to revive the Geneva process which had been frozen for about nine months and has got rolling only since this January and we hail that.”
According to the Russian top diplomat, Moscow is working actively with United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, with the United States, the European Union, regional and off-region Islamic states. “Obviously, the most important thing is to organize direct dialogue between the Syrian government and the moderate armed opposition, i.e. between those who has been and are confronting each other in Syria with weapons in their hands,” he stressed.