Lavrov: Astana meeting on Syria to focus on de-escalation zones

The round of talks on Syria in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on July 4-5 will be devoted to the concept of creating de-escalation zones, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

“The round, due to be held in Kazakhstan’s capital, will be devoted – as agreed by the guarantor-countries – to specifying the concept approved at the May 4 round – the concept of setting up de-escalation zones on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic,” Lavrov said. “The concept needs detailed elaboration.” Now all details are being discussed at the level of technical experts, he said.

“A significant decline in military activities and violence has been recorded in the relevant areas of Syria,” the Russian top diplomat said adding that it was the result of the declaration of de-escalation zones. “I hope that the next round of the Astana talks will positively affect our common efforts aimed at resolving the Syrian crisis and facilitate the UN-sponsored talks that are planned to be held in Geneva after the Astana meeting, in the first half of July,” Lavrov pointed out.