Rebels storm out as Syria safe zone pact signed

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Allies of Syria- Russia and Iran and rebel supporter Turkey signed a memorandum on 4 May 2017, backing Moscow's plan of creating safe zones in Syria to encourage a truce between the Syrian government and the rebel forces.

The recent round of the Astana talks, which brought together the sides to the Syrian conflict - Damascus and armed opposition, as well as three ceasefire mediator states - Russia, Iran and Turkey, took place on Wednesday-Thursday, while a meeting at the experts level took place on Tuesday.

However, in spite of all these measures, some issues remain unclear like which guarantor country would be policing which safe zone.

The Turkish foreign ministry said the zones' parameters would be determined shortly by a working group formed by the talks' three sponsors.

"We have an agreement already (in) our hands, why isn't it implemented?" he said, referring to a truce deal announced by Russian Federation in December that was largely ignored on the ground.

The presidents of Russian Federation and Turkey say they support the formation of so-called safe zones in Syria and hope an agreement about them will be reached at the multilateral Syria talks underway in Kazakhstan.

But the statement, by spokeswoman Heather Nauert, said that "we continue to have concerns" about the agreement, "including the involvement of Iran as a so-called 'guarantor.' " It added: "Iran's activities in Syria have only contributed to the violence, not stopped it, and Iran's unquestioning support for the Assad regime has perpetuated the misery of ordinary Syrians".

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Bogdanov recalled that the United States is familiar with the agreements on de-escalation zones in Syria.

However, U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura described Thursday's agreement as a "step in the right direction", expressing hope that the deal would boost U.N. -backed Syria peace talks in Geneva.

The Kremlin has been touting a plan to create safe zones in Syria that are aimed at "further pacification and cessation of hostilities".

The second will encompass certain parts in the north of Homs province, and the third will be comprised of some areas of Eastern Ghouta, outside of Damascus.

The spokesman for Guterres said the United Nations will continue to support de-escalation within the framework of the Security Council resolutions on Syria and has also been proactively backing discussions in Astana regarding detainees and humanitarian demining.

Mr Erdogan said in comments published yesterday that Moscow's plan to set up these zones in Syria would "50 per cent" solve the six-year conflict.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said while on a visit to Washington, D.C., that the kingdom supported the creation of safe zones but he wanted to see more details.

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