UN chief hopes Syria's de-escalation zones will grow to be more practical


09:50 GMT 13.09.2017 (updated 12:04 GMT 31.10.2017) Get a short URL

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that mechanisms will be introduced during the Astana talks to make the de-escalation zones in Syria more efficient.

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – The de-escalation zones in Syria are important. The United Nations hopes mechanisms to work will work, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with RIA Novosti shortly before the UN General Assembly.

"We welcomed the Astana talks and recognized the importance of creating de-escalation zones. We hope that mechanisms can be put in place to make them fully effective," said Guterres.

So far, three de-escalation zones have been set up in Syria: in the south along the border with Jordan, in eastern Ghouta and north of Homs. Consultations on the fourth de-escalation zone in the Idlib province are ongoing.

The memorandum on the establishment of four de-escalation zones in the war-torn country was signed during the fourth Syrian settlement talks in the Kazakh capital Astana in May, with Russia, Iran and Turkey acting as guarantors for the ceasefire.

"At the same time, we are seeing progress in the fight against terrorism, which we believe is a very important factor. I hope that these developments create conditions to make a political solution more desirable for both the government and the opposition. " he said.

Guterres also expressed hope for progress in the upcoming talks about Syria in Geneva.

"I hope that the Geneva talks in the next round will make some significant progress that will only be possible if both sides understand that despite all these recent developments, no military solution can solve the problem that we need a political solution, and so on a political solution will allow Syria to regain its place in the international community, "said Guterres.

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