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Lavrov Discusses De-escalation Zones with Egyptian, Jordanian Counterparts - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Moscow- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has discussed with this Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts in two separate phone conversations the “de-escalation zones” in Syria.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday that Lavrov received a phone call from Jordan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman al-Safadi.

“The ministers discussed prospects for cooperation in regional affairs with an emphasis on the Syrian settlement in light of efforts towards bolstering and expanding the ceasefire in Syria in keeping with the memorandum on the creation of de-escalation zones” in Syria, the ministry said in a statement.

Discussions also focused on the creation of such zones in areas bordering Jordan in line with the memorandum signed in Astana on May 4 and backed by the Syrian regime, it said.

On Lavrov’s phone conversation with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, the ministry said in a separate statement that “the ministers exchanged views on the Syrian crisis, taking into account the results of the fourth International High-Level Meeting on Syria held in Astana on May 3 and 4.”

“They discussed specific joint steps to support the political settlement of the armed conflict,” it said.
Sources had said after the latest round of Astana talks that Egypt was one of the country’s willing to provide observers in the de-escalation zones.

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has not ruled out the participation of the US in the de-escalation zones.

“Lavrov was in Washington and contacts with our American partners are underway in that regard,” he was quoted as saying.

Lavrov told reporters in the US State of Alaska on Friday that he hasn’t discussed with President Donald Trump the US participation in the memorandum on the de-escalation zones.

“I have said that we welcome any such participation,” he said.

Lavrov is the highest-ranking Russian official to visit Washington since Trump came to power in January, and earned a rare invitation to the Oval Office for a head-to-head.