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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu discussed the creation of de-escalation zones and a conflict settlement road map, Erdogan's spokesman said Monday.
Ibrahim Kalin said at a briefing that the Russian military delegation led by Shoigu traveled to Istanbul ahead of the intra-Syrian talks in Astana on Tuesday and Wednesday at the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"The negotiations included the main issues on the agenda of the third meeting [on Syria] which will be held in Astana. The most important topics are the creation of de-escalation zones and the delineation of a road map of the Syrian settlement," Kalin said.
Adding that Shoigu had provided Erdogan with information, the Turkish president's spokesman said "we will make great efforts to finish this process as soon as possible and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid."
On May 4, Russia, Turkey and Iran signed a memorandum on the establishment of safe zones in war-torn Syria as part of the the Astana talks on Syrian settlement. The four zones include the northwestern Idlib province and parts of the neighboring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces, the north of the central Homs province, eastern Ghouta near Damascus and certain parts in the country's southern Deraa and Quneitra provinces. The memorandum on these de-escalation zones took effect on May 6.
The agreement between Moscow, Tehran and Ankara presumes the cessation of airstrikes and combat actions between the Syrian Army and militants who have already joined or will join the ceasefire regime.
The deal was previously discussed during talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi.
2017.07.03 / 17:48