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Putin’s Envoy in Tehran to Implement ‘Helsinki’ Decisions

Putin’s Envoy in Tehran to Implement ‘Helsinki’ Decisions

Thursday, 19 July, 2018 - 06:30
Russian President Putin's special envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev speaks during the third session of Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan on February 16, 2017. Turkey, Russia and Iran form a joint commission to observe the ceasefire. Aliia Raimbekova - Anadolu Agency
London - Ibrahim Hamidi

Russia's special presidential envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev is expected in Tehran on Thursday to brief officials on the results of a summit held between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki earlier this week.

Diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Lavrentiev might ask Tehran to implement the decisions reached between the two presidents in Finland.

Those agreements stipulate the pull out of heavy artillery to a distance of 80 kilometers from the Israeli border in the Golan Heights and the activation of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement with a weapons free zone.

The agreements also call on about 1,200 members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) to implement those clauses.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian regime forces reached a reconciliation deal with rebels on Wednesday after intensively shelling the Syrian city of Nawa and its vicinity, killing at least 15 civilians.

The “reconciliation” deal between regime forces and opposition forces stipulates that rebels give up the hills around the city and surrender heavy weaponry, a statement from Nawa’s negotiation delegation said.

The UK-based group said battles continued in areas separating Daraa from Quneitra.

Sources reported US-Russian contacts to implement the Helsinki Summit’s terms in the area, particularly humanitarian clauses on the fate of 160,000 refugees currently present in the Golan.

Moscow and Damascus have formed a committee to study the fate of Syrian refugees in neighboring states.

The sources also reported Russian-French talks on a joint humanitarian convoy.

Separately, a Kurdish official told Asharq Al-Awsat that administrations in the northeast of Syria, which include Syrian Democratic Forces, began implementing several decisions, including the removal of pictures of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, from public institutions.

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