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Russia takes Israel’s interests into account for Syrian de-escalation zone

July 18, 2017 at 10:27 am

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meets Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu (not seen) before their Turkish- Russian- Iranian Foreign Miinisters’ tripartite meeting in Moscow, Russia on 20 December, 2016 [Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency]

Russia’s Foreign Minister said on Monday that Moscow is taking Israeli interests into account with regard to the proposed de-escalation zone in south-west Syria, Sputnik has reported.

“I can guarantee that we have done everything and the US side has done everything to ensure that Israel’s security interests within this framework are taken fully into account,” Sergey Lavrov told journalists. Preparations for the de-escalation agreement “have been conducted with all interested parties, including Israel.”

President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump agreed on 7 July to implement a regional ceasefire. Lavrov’s remarks followed a report in Haaretz that the Israeli Prime Minister had voiced his opposition to the agreement during his visit to Paris. Such a deal, claimed Benjamin Netanyahu, secures Iran’s presence in Syria, where Tehran plans to build an air force base and a Mediterranean port for its navy.

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According to Sputnik, Russia, Iran and Turkey are guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire. They signed a memorandum on the establishment of four safe zones in Syria, which came into force on 6 May.

The zones span the north-western Idlib province and parts of neighbouring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo; the north of the central Homs province, Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, and southern Daraa and Quneitra regions.