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Russia Attached to 'Political Partnership' In Syria - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London- Moscow is peacefully and steadily moving to solve the crisis in Syria in the form of a political partnership, and would exert pressure on Damascus at the right time to accept such a solution and implement UNSC Resolution 2254, sources informed by the Russian decision-making told Asharq Al-Awsat on Friday.

“The Russian side acts peacefully and wisely in Syria: Moscow signed the Astana deal with Iran and Turkey, and achieved with the Americans and Jordanians the de-escalation agreement southwestern Syria, in addition to an agreement with Egypt over the Damascus’ Ghouta and the countryside of Homs, leaving the fate of the fourth zone, Idlib, to international agreements that might involve the US in the fight against al-Nusra Front,” the sources said.

Following a meeting of Turkish and Iranian officials in Ankara on Friday to discuss the “de-escalation” deal, a tripartite technical meeting is expected on August 8 in Tehran ahead of the high-level meeting scheduled in the Kazakh capital at the end of this month.

The upcoming meeting in Astana aims to evaluate the results of the “de-escalation zones” in the four Syrian areas before calling on UN envoy Staffan de Mistura to kick off a new round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva early next month.

According to the sources, Moscow was keen to present the de-escalation zones differently from the enforced agreements executed by the Syrian regime in opposition-held areas.

The sources said that when Russia suggested the “de-escalation zones,” it accepted the presence of local opposition councils in the Russian-controlled areas and the delivery of humanitarian aid, in addition to the deployment of Russian military police, the symbolic presence of regime forces and the limitation of the Iranian role, pushing “Hezbollah” and other Iranian members away from Jordan and the Golan.

The sources added that Russia also approved the principle of “decentralization” with providing broader authorities to the local councils and those areas liberated by the Syrian Democratic Forces from ISIS militants.

“Russia was keen to protect the unity of Syria in preparation for local, parliamentary and presidential elections based on Resolution 2254,” the sources said.