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UN envoy urges US, Russia to coordinate efforts in setting up de-escalation zones in Syria

Логотип TASS TASS 14.06.2017 TASS

OSLO, June 15. /TASS/. The U.S. and Russia should coordinate efforts towards setting up the zones of de-escalation in Syria so as to avoid losing a chance for improvement of the situation in the war-torn country, the UN Secretary General's special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura said on Wednesday. He was taking part in the Oslo Forum for untangling international conflicts that was organized by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.

"There is a need for Russian-American coordination of what could be some of the main results of the de-escalation," De Mistura said. "The Americans have been suggesting what they call interim stabilization areas and the Russian side in Astana has been promoting the so-called de-escalation areas. Both areas or several areas could make a major difference if properly implemented."

"There is a window at the moment," he said. "I will not say a window of opportunity but still a window not to be missed."

De Mistura said the slashing of the scale of violence in Syria with the aid of secure zoens will make it possible to step up the peace process on the basis of initiatives from the grassroots. He warned howevet that the setting-up of de-escalation zones as such and the opportunities they might offer to international observers would unlikely bring about a durable improvement of the situation.

"You can give it life by having a political horizon and the political horizon should come now from some discussions that need to take place between Russians and Americans," De Mistura said. "Why not the others? They are involved but we have seen and we have seen it with our experience that when Russia and America do agree on some parameters the others are in a way easily of possibly inluenced. So I would keep my eyes if I were you on Hamburg."

He believes the G20 summit that will be held in Hamburg on July 7 and July 8 will give a perfect opportunity to Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump to meet in person and to discuss their vision of Syria's future.

"In Hamburg there would be the first potential opportunity after a while for many to meet and in particular for the two leaders to meet President Trump and President Putin," he said. "Syria is certainly on the radar screen of both and it is a good time to discuss it."

When TASS asked De Mistura about his vision of the Astana consultations, the said the pan-Syrian talks in Astana were crucial and very useful for stopping the combat operations in Syria. He added that the talks in Geneva and Astana were built around the principle of the division of roles and this principle was workable for the time being.


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