De-escalation zones in Syria will help break the impasse in separating moderate opposition from terrorists, said Presidential Special Representative for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev, the head of Russia’s delegation at the intra-Syrian talks in Astana.

“For improving the work, Russia came up forward with a proposal to set up so-called de-escalation zones in Syria,” he said. “We believe that this might help set into motion the lingering problem of separating Syrian moderate opposition from terrorist organizations, primarily Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (outlawed in Russia) and will help scale down the level of military confrontation between Syrian armed opposition and government forces.”

“We are carrying out work and are ready to get in contact with Syrian armed opposition. Our Turkish counterparts are working with them since they share the opinion that the opposition should participate in negotiations,” the diplomat said. “If the opposition believes there are some problems, they should be solved. So we hope that common sense will prevail and Mr. al-Alloush (Mohammad al-Alloush, the armed opposition’s head) and other leaders will appear at plenary meetings on May 4 after all.”

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