The de-escalation zones in Syria are temporary, and nobody is going to use them to split the country into enclaves, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday after negotiations with the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
“The purpose of the de-escalation zones is to stop the violence,” the Russian minister said. “It is not a permanent measure, and nobody who agree those zones has an intention of keeping them for good, thus in fact having long-term enclaves in the Syrian territory.”
“The agreement is their term is six months, and it is clear already the result is evident, the ceasefire is generally observed,” Lavrov added. The purpose of the de-escalation zones is “to begin spreading across Syria the space, where ceasefire is observed, where peaceful life is developing.”
“A very important element of the program to organize the de-escalation zones is beginning of dialogue via the national reconciliation committees,” he said. “Inside those zones there is interest to having the committees to begin talks with the government.”
“This would be a very important addition to the efforts to have in Geneva a direct dialogue at the negotiation table under auspices of the UN,” Lavrov said. “If we establish local reconciliation processes in the regions, I believe, the work would move quicker, more effective, and the space, where ceasefire is observed and where the national dialogue emerges, will be expanding to involve eventually entire Syria.”