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Lavrov: Memorandum on Idlib Was Not Fully Implemented

Lavrov: Memorandum on Idlib Was Not Fully Implemented

Monday, 4 March, 2019 - 10:00
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov | Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that articles of the memorandum signed between Russia and Turkey on Idlib (northern Syria) have not yet been fully implemented.

“We encourage our Turkish partners to meet their commitments under the September 17, 2018 memorandum on stabilizing the situation in Idlib,” Lavrov said in an interview with the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on Sunday.

He highlighted the importance of preventing further growth in terrorist presence under the pretext of observing the ceasefire reached with Turkey.

“So far, the document’s provisions stipulating the creation of a demilitarized zone and the withdrawal of all radicals and military hardware from it have not been fully implemented," he noted.

Russia’s top diplomat also pointed out that a lot needs to be done to neutralize sleeper cells of radical armed groups.

“Certain hotbeds of terrorist presence remain in the country,” he stressed.

“First of all, this concerns the Idlib de-escalation zone, where most territory is controlled by militants from the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group, which has been carrying out provocative raids against civilians, and Russian and Syrian military," Lavrov explained.

Lavrov stressed that Astana talks on Syria proved effective, recalling that the decisions made in the framework of these talks led to the establishment of de-escalation areas, significant drop in violence levels and creation of conditions under which refugees can voluntarily return home.

"We are working actively with our Iranian and Turkish partners to implement the resolutions of the Syrian national dialogue conference,” Lavrov said.

Issues of ensuring the stability of the situation in Syria, pushing forward the process of political settlement and launching the work of the constitutional committee were discussed during the summit of the guarantor states (Russia, Iran, Turkey) held in Russia's Sochi on February 14.

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