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Syria will abide by 'de-escalation' plan, assures foreign minister

Syria will abide by 'de-escalation' plan, assures foreign minister

The US will thoroughly examine Russian proposal to create four safe zones in Syria, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said, adding that Washington now has a number of unanswered questions regarding the initiative.

The evacuation began days after regime backers Russian Federation and Iran and rebel supporter Turkey signed a deal to implement "de-escalation zones" where the government and opposition will halt hostilities.

Russian Federation wants the United Nations Security Council to endorse an agreement reached in the Kazakh capital of Astana last week to establish "de-escalation zones" in Syria, but several council members say they need more information before they can back the deal aimed at bolstering a ceasefire.

The "de-escalation zones" to be established in Syria will be closed to military aircraft from the US -led coalition, the Russian official who signed the new agreement said Friday.

The channel added that the evacuation would continue for five days, but that rebels who chose to stay could do so if they registered with the government. "So we have to look at the details, see if we can work them out, see if we think they're going to be effective", he said, according to the AP.

Japan and Sweden have requested a UN Security Council meeting, likely to be held this week, to obtain specific details on how the zones will work.

Relations between Washington and Ankara, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, in the ongoing fight against ISIS in Syria are at a historical low point due to USA support for Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG.

"It's all in process right now", Mattis said of the proposal.

Moallem said he hopes the agreement will, as a start, achieve a separation between Syrian rebel groups and extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda, which has been allied with various armed opposition groups fighting Assad in the past. Despite several rounds of United Nations -mediated negotiations in Geneva, the government and opposition remain at odds over President Bashar Assad's future role in Syria.

N. Korea open to US dialogue under 'right conditions'
Goods produced by North Korea's forced labor would be prohibited from entering the United States , according to the legislation. In one of North Korea's rare moments, they show anger without trying to elicit fear of nuclear war or World War 3.

The proposed measure "calls on all member-states to contribute in good faith to the implementation of the memorandum on the creation of the de-escalation areas" in Syria, according to the draft.

The Syrian declaration, made by Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem at a news conference in Damascus, added to uncertainties over how to ensure compliance with the agreement, which theoretically halts hostilities in four regions throughout the country.

In this agreement, the devil is in the details.

Russia, Iran and its proxies have been the Syrian regime's prime backers.

A senior US administration official said the Russian Federation agreement includes a number of loopholes, raising questions about what exactly it will allow Moscow, Iran or the Syrian government to do.

The skies were quiet over Idlib province, AFP's correspondent there said Saturday afternoon, but residents were anxious that the evening would bring renewed bombardment.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is visiting Washington, D.C., Wednesday to visit with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a likely attempt get US approval.

A Syrian boy walks past destroyed buildings in the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern outskirts of Damascus on May 6, 2017.


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