Russia bears the special responsibility of implementing the agreement on the establishment of four safe, or de-escalation, zones in Syria, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday.

On Thursday, during the fourth round of the Astana talks, all parties agreed to adopt a memorandum on the creation of four safe zones in Syria, which was then signed by the Syrian ceasefire guarantor states: Russia, Iran and Turkey.

“The German government welcomes any initiative that leads to de-escalation, to diminishing violence in Syria, and that makes the provision of necessary humanitarian assistance and security possible. The establishment of security zones may become a step in the right direction. The question is whether this initiative will be implemented. And there we see the special responsibility of Russia. Russia must ensure that the Syrian regime is behaving differently than in the past, [that the Syrian government] adhered to agreements, especially considering the ban on flights, as well as the delivery of humanitarian assistance,” Seibert said at a briefing.

Seibert added that the implementation of the memorandum may lay down the the groundwork for the political process in Geneva.

“Without this political process there can be no sustainable de-escalation, no sustainable stabilization. Astana has to create a framework for negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations,” Seibert stressed.

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