Assad Not Allowing UN to Monitor 'De-Escalation Zones' in Syria

Russia s Lavrov meets Secretary Tillerson ahead of Trump talks

Russia's Lavrov meets Secretary Tillerson ahead of Trump talks

The de-escalation zones scheme adopted at the recently concluded fourth round of Astana peace talks on the Syrian conflict may have gained some much-needed support after Damascus signalled, at last, that it can go along with it and Russian Federation accepting a U.S. role in the implementation process.

"We had a very, very good meeting with Mr Lavrov", Trump told reporters after the talks.

"We want to see the killing, the disgusting killing, stopped in Syria as soon as possible and everyone is working toward that end", Trump said after the meeting. "You're kidding. You're kidding".

"Russia's idea is in creation of four safety zones in the western part of Syria, the USA side thinks about two or three temporary zones of "de-escalation" and 'stabilization.' Both the proposals could be compatible in the end", de Mistura told Il Corriere della Sera newspaper.

The agreement calls for the creation of four "de-escalation zones" to shore up a ceasefire, ban flights and allow for deliveries of humanitarian aid.

Washington has given the deal a skeptical welcome, citing concerns about Tehran's role as a guarantor even as it expressed hope the agreement could set the stage for a later settlement.

Over the past six years, Moscow and Washington have sparred multiple times over the conflict in Syria, especially concerning Assad's fate. "So we'll look at the proposal and see if it can work". Trump said during his election campaign that he sought closer ties with Russian Federation but tensions grew after USA air strikes against a Syrian airfield in April in response to a chemical weapons attack that Washington blamed on Assad.

Both countries have recently indicated that relations under Trump have never been so bad, though Wednesday's meetings appeared rather cordial.

President Trump's ongoing outreach to Kremlin officials will not prevent him from holding Russian Federation accountable for its "disruptive behavior" in the Middle East and elsewhere, White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Friday.

The U.S., along with some European allies, has imposed several rounds of economic sanctions on Russian Federation in response to what they called the annexation of Crimea and destabilizing activities in eastern Ukraine.

After the talks, Lavrov and Tillerson set off for Alaska and a meeting of the Arctic Council, a forum for cooperation on the environment, oil and mining, shipping, fisheries and tourism.

It brings together the eight countries bordering the Arctic Ocean - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia and the United States.

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