Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the possibility of sending US observers to the de-escalation zones should be acceptable for Damascus in the first place.
When asked whether the issue was discussed during the talks in the United States, Lavrov told reporters that “We will welcome any contribution by the United States to the implementation of this concept.”
“Initially, it was (US President) Donald Trump who spoke about the importance of creating such safe zones where the population can breathe a sigh of relief,” he added.
Lavrov noted that a meeting of experts representing Russia, Turkey and Iran, that is, the countries acting as the guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria would be held in 10-12 days.
“The experts will discuss specific parameters of these zones’ operation, including buffer zones around them, observation posts and checkpoints,” he explained.
“The memorandum signed in Astana envisages that observers from third countries could be involved in efforts to ensure the operation of the de-escalation zones,” said Lavrov, stressing “Of course, that should be agreed with all parties concerned. Above all, this should be acceptable for the Syrian government.”
Bogdanov: Russia does not rule out US participation on working group on de-escalation zones in Syria
Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, announced that Russia does not rule out that the United States will become a member of the working group on de-escalation zones in Syria, adding that this issue is still under discussion.
Speaking to Sputnik news agency, Bogdanov said that the contacts are underway with the US side and the three guarantor states are involved.
He said that other countries, especially those who participated in Astana peace process as observers, may join these talks.
“Our minister travelled to Washington, and we have contacts on other levels with our US partners,” Bogdanov added.
On forming the Russian delegation to Geneva talks on the settlement of the crisis in Syria, he said that decision was not made on who would represent Russia during the talks.