Iranian, Russian Security Chiefs Discuss Syria Coop.

Iranian, Russian Security Chiefs Discuss Syria Coop.Iranian, Russian Security Chiefs Discuss Syria Coop.

Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani and Russian Federation's Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev discussed over the phone joint efforts aimed at the resolution of Syria conflict, including the ongoing Astana talks.

Representatives from the Syrian government, the armed opposition, as well as Iran, Russia and Turkey—the three guarantors of the December 30 ceasefire covering most of Syria—reconvened behind closed doors for the fifth time on Tuesday to help consolidate the cessation of hostilities to open the way for a political settlement.

A UN delegation is also attending, besides Jordan and the United States as observer states.

The current two-day round of talks is focused at finalizing arrangements for the so-called de-escalation zones, which the three guarantors agreed to establish during the previous round of talks early May.

Shamkhani and Patrushev exchanged views about procedures for the control and operation of the zones.

"To advance the agreeaaments and protect the ceasefire, it's very important to provide effective mechanisms for monitoring the ceasefire," IRNA quoted Shamkhani as saying.

Expressing satisfaction at the outcome of the two countries' anti-terror collaboration in Syria, the Russian official said the push for political settlement of the conflict would have no effect on the fight against terrorist entities beyond the scope of the ceasefire.

Iran and Russia are backers of the Syrian government engaged in a fight against a six-year-old foreign-backed militancy, while Turkey and some western and Arab governments support the armed groups.

Shamkhani described as useful regular consultations between the two countries on their anti-terror fight.

"In view of the need to learn from past experience ... arrangements should be made in a way that prevents frustrated terrorists from misusing the ceasefire," he said.


  Expected Outcome

The main result of the fifth Astana talks will likely be delineation of the borders of the de-escalation zones and the start of monitoring operation, Sputnik reported on Monday, citing informed sources.

The four de-escalation zones would be created in the northwestern Idlib Province and parts of the neighboring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo, the north of central Homs Province, Eastern Ghouta near Damascus and southern Daraa and Quneitra regions.

Security zones with checkpoints for civilians and humanitarian convoys, as well as ceasefire monitoring centers are to be established on their borders.

The agreement includes a no-fly zone and prohibits military activities in the areas in question.

The document is valid for half a year and may be automatically extended for a similar period.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said last week that the establishment of a Syrian committee for national peace settlement would also be discussed in Astana.

In addition, the parties will discuss direct humanitarian access and the restoration of Syria's infrastructural facilities.

The guarantors of the truce also plan to adopt a resolution on the release of detainees.


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