Ceasefire guarantor states Russia, Iran and Turkey have adopted a memorandum on the creation of four security zones in Syria, during peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana.
The de-escalation zones were earlier proposed by Russia. They are aimed at separating extremist groups, including ISIS terrorists and Al-Nusra Front, from the moderate opposition.
Some representatives of the Syrian armed opposition walked out of the meeting, according to media reports.
“We don’t accept Iran’s participation as a guarantor state,” one opposition delegation member reportedly shouted during a speech by Kazakhstan’s foreign minister at the signing ceremony.
Most members of the delegation reportedly remained in the room, however.
Iran says it is a massive step toward the de-escalation of the long-standing conflict and bloodshed in Syria.
“We support any initiative aimed at de-escalation of the conflict in Syria, prevention of bloodshed, destruction, leading to the fleeing of the Syrian people from their native territory. We support any step aimed at a ceasefire,” an Iranian Foreign Ministry said.
The next round of Syrian peace talks will be hosted by Astana in mid-July, with expert meetings scheduled to be held two weeks beforehand, according to Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov.
“Given the new round of Geneva talks, which is to be held in late May and emphasizing the essential role of the Astana meetings in supplementing and assisting the Geneva process, we call on all members of the international community to contribute to this process and to find a lasting solution to the Syrian conflict,” the minister stated.