Russian, Turkish and Iranian experts plan to meet in a week or two to discuss the parameters of Moscow-proposed safe zones in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday.
“Russian, Turkish, and Iranian experts will meet in about ten-twelve days to discuss certain standards for functioning of these safe zones, including observers and checkpoints,” he told reporters in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Arctic Council, Lavrov underscored that under the Astana pact on de-escalation zones in Syria observers’ participation should be agreed by all parties to the deal, including the Syrian government.
The accord was signed last week in Kazakhstan’s capital and came into effect on Saturday. Russia, Iran and Turkey are the three guarantors of Syrian peace and will control its implementation.
A total of four zones will be set up across Syria to allow for the safe return of refugees. They will be patrolled by foreign forces and surrounded by checkpoints. The United Nations has commended the pact, saying it would be crucial to see it actually improve the lives of Syrians.