UN chief ‘encouraged’ by agreement on de-escalation zones in Syria
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomes the agreement reached in Kazakhstan's capital Astana on Thursday on creating de-escalation zones in Syria and believes it is important that it should really improve the citizens' lives, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement, TASS reports.
The Secretary-General is encouraged by the agreement today in Astana, Kazakhstan, by guarantor countries Iran, Russia and Turkey to de-escalate violence in key areas in Syria, the statement said.
It will be crucial to see this agreement actually improve the lives of Syrians. The Secretary-General welcomes the commitments to ceasing the use of all weapons, particularly aerial assets; to rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access; and to creating conditions for the delivery of medical aid and meeting civilians' basic needs, it said.
The creation of de-escalation zones should not affect the rights of Syrians to seek and enjoy asylum in other countries, according to the statement.
The spokesman for Guterres said the UN will continue to support de-escalation within the framework of the Security Council resolutions on Syria and has also been proactively backing discussions in Astana regarding detainees and humanitarian demining.
The Secretary-General welcomes the affirmation from the Astana meeting of the fundamental importance of a political solution and the full support expressed there for the UN-led intra-Syrian talks process in Geneva within the framework of Security Council resolution 2254, the statement said.
At talks in Astana on Thursday, Russia, Turkey and Iran signed a memorandum on creating de-escalation zones in Syria, Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said. The head of Russia's delegation and the president's special envoy for Syrian settlement, Alexander Lavrentyev, said the zones are established for six months and can be automatically extended for the same period. The memorandum envisages ceasefire in the designated areas from May 6.
Source: National information agency of Tajikistan