Russia seeks UN backing for deal on Syria safe zones

2017-05-08 22:40


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New York - Russia on Monday faced resistance from Western powers to win UN Security Council backing for an agreement it signed with Iran and Turkey on establishing safe zones in Syria.

The deal signed in the Kazakh capital Astana last week calls for the creation of four "de-escalation zones" to shore up a ceasefire, ban flights and allow for deliveries of humanitarian aid.

Russia, which along with Iran is an ally of the Syrian government, signed the agreement with rebel supporter Turkey as a key step to unravel over six years of violence that has cost more than 320 000 lives.


Seeking UN endorsement, Moscow circulated a draft UN resolution on Friday that welcomes the deal and calls on all parties to abide by the provisions setting up the de-escalation zones.

The proposed measure "calls on all member-states to contribute in good faith to the implementation of the memorandum on the creation of the de-escalation areas" in Syria, according to the draft.

Western diplomats expressed reservations about the Russian draft, saying it was premature to endorse the Astana deal until final arrangements for the proposed de-escalation zones were agreed.

Under the deal, Russia, Iran and Turkey have until June 4 to agree on the exact boundaries of the four zones, where fighting between rebels and government forces is meant to stop.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Washington for talks on Wednesday on the way forward in Syria.

Read more on:    un  |  us  |  russia  |  syria conflict

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