Kazakhstan: Tension in Idlib de-escalation zone «high» — Lavrentiev ahead of Syria talks

Speaking in an interview ahead of the seventh round of Syrian peace talks in Astana on Monday, Russia's Special Envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, said the level of tension in the Idlib de-escalation zone “remains quite high”. The envoy added that «we really managed to significantly stabilise the situation on the ground. Of course, there are certain difficulties connected with the provocative... Еще actions of certain groups that are in the zones of de-escalation.» Lavrentiev also shared information regarding the active involvement of Kurds in the post-military development and political settlement of Syria. «Kurds now control a significant part of the territory of Syria and made a really significant contribution to the eradication of terrorist structures on the territory of the country, primarily Islamic state,» according to the Russian representative. Lavrentiev added that the «Kurds certainly are not those formations that are aggressive towards the central government. Until now, there have not been recorded military clashes between government forces and the Kurds.» During the current round of negotiations in Astana, the country-guarantors of the armistice in Syria will discuss the venue for the congress of the Syrian people. According to the Russian representative, «this issue is still at the stage of elaboration: indeed, the Russian initiative to hold a congress of the people of Syria or the congress of national dialogue is very important and timely, and we are trying to attract and organise this forum with the widest possible representation.»

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