Agreement was “very close” on a fourth safe zone in Syria says Russia

Vastavam web: Russia’s envoy for Syria said today that an agreement was “very close” on a fourth safe zone in the country as a new round of talks began in Kazakhstan on ending the six-year war.Speaking after negotiations involving regime backers Russia and Iran as well as rebel-supporting Turkey, Alexander Lavrentyev expressed confidence that deals for zones in four parts of the country would be finalised tomorrow.
“We are very close to signing an agreement on all these four de-escalation zones,” he told journalists in the capital Astana.There are still major disagreements over which force will be sent to police the zone covering rebel-held Idlib — on Syria’s northern border with Turkey — as Ankara and Tehran jockey for influence.Russia has so far deployed military police to patrol the boundaries of three zones agreed in the south, in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, and in part of the central Homs province.The talks were also attended by representatives of the Syrian regime and opposition, the United Nations and observers from the United States and Jordan.