The Russian announcement of the de-escalation zones in Syria is moving at an accelerating pace, with the statement about two new areas in two weeks. Moscow announced de-escalation zones in the southwest of Syria, including the provinces of Suwayda, Daraa and Quneitra.
China’s special envoy for Syria, Xie Xiaoyan, said the Astana and Geneva peace talks on the settlement of the Syrian crisis are “mutually supportive”, noting that a new round of the UN-mediated talks is expected to be held in the Swiss city in August.
Russia has sent military reinforcements to eastern Ghouta near Damascus and southwest Syria to support the de-escalation zones in order to enforce the Syrian military’s declaration of a ceasefire on Saturday.
UN-led Syria talks have a chance of making progress because demands for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad have receded, Russia’s ambassador in Geneva.
A senior Russian official said Kurds should be included in the intra-Syrian peace talks that will resume in Geneva in September this year.
Speaking to reporters in the early hours of Saturday in Geneva, United Nations Special Envoy said that the latest round of the intra-Syrian talks ended with “incremental progress.”
Syria’s government and opposition negotiators could soon hold face-to-face talks for the first time, U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday, the penultimate day of a round of peace talks in Geneva.
Russia’s newly appointed ambassador to Ankara Alexei Yerkhov said that Turkey is an important partner of Russia in solving the Syrian crisis and increasing the trade volume between two countries to $100 billion is a “possible goal.”
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Brussels on Tuesday, with the Syrian crisis reportedly topping the agenda.