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Russia: Syria safe zones to be shut for U.S., coalition planes – agencies

Russian lead negotiator on Syria Alexander Lavrentyev, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov and U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura attend the fourth round of Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov

(Reuters) The safe zones which are being created in Syria will be closed for warplanes of the United States and those of the U.S.-led coalition, Russian news agencies quoted Russian envoy at Syria peace talks Alexander Lavrentyev as saying on Friday.

Turkey and Iran agreed on Thursday to Russia’s proposal for “de-escalation zones” in Syria, a move welcomed by the United Nations but met with skepticism from the United States.

Russia, Turkey and Iran signed on Thursday a memorandum on creating safe zones in Syria, while the delegation of the armed Syrian opposition walked out and shouted angrily after a new round of peace talks held in the Kazakh capital Astana.

Russia, Turkey and Iran act as guarantors of the Astana peace process.

Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said that next Syria peace talks would be held in Astana in mid-July.

“The Syrian Arab Republic supports the Russian initiative on de-escalation zones and confirms its commitment to the cessation of hostilities regime signed Dec. 30, 2016, which includes not bombing these regions,” said state news agency SANA, reporting a foreign ministry statement.

The report also said the Syrian army would continue to fight against what it termed terrorist groups across Syria.



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