Tabnak – The latest international talks on the Syrian crisis concluded in Astana without a clear breakthrough, as Turkey has reportedly refused the details of "de-escalation zones” in the war-torn country. Meanwhile, Washington has offered to cooperate with Moscow on establishing the so-called "no-flight zones” in Syria.
The Trump administration is prepared to consider joint stability operations with Russia in Syria, including no-flight zones, cease-fire observers and coordinated deliveries of humanitarian aid, The Washington Post quoted US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as saying on Wednesday.
In a statement issued as he departed for Europe, where he will join Donald Trump in Germany on Thursday, Tillerson said that the United States and Russia have successfully cooperated in establishing deconfliction areas in Syria to avoid contact between their air operations.
"The United States believes Russia, as a guarantor of the Assad regime and an early entrant into the Syrian conflict, has a responsibility to ensure that the needs of the Syrian people are met and that no faction in Syria illegitimately re-takes or occupies areas liberated from ISIS’ or other terrorist groups’ control,” Tillerson said.
The US Secretary of State stressed further that Moscow has "an obligation” to prevent any potential use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces.
Reacting to Tillerson’s remarks, Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky said that Russia is ready to discuss Syrian no-flight zones with the United States if Washington's goal in the country is to fight the ISIS terror group and not the Syrian government.
"As for the yesterday's proposal of Tillerson, similar proposals of the State Department were expressed last year. We believe that the US side needs to return to a full-blooded and full-fledged participation in the anti-terrorist operation in the territory of Syria and then together with them we can work out sensible approaches, as Trump said earlier, to fighting not with Assad but with the Daesh (ISIS) and other terrorist organizations in Syria," Slutsky told reporters.
This is while, the latest round of diplomatic talks for settling the Syrian crisis ended in the Kazakh city of Astana on Wednesday, with reports suggesting that the participants reached only partial agreement on de-escalation zones in the Arab country.
In this vein, Permanent Representative of Syrian Arab Republic to UN Bashar Jaafari blamed Turkey’s "negative policy” for the "modest” results in Astana. Jaafari stated, "The stance of the Turkish delegation was negative since the beginning of the Astana track. This negativity was translated into the modest results we listened to just now.” However, Jaafari also maintained that he didn’t consider the talks a failure.
Meanwhile, Sputnik quoted a source at the talks as saying that the parties have reached an agreement on only two out of the four de-escalation zones, but will adopt the whole package of documents related to the issue during the next round of negotiations.
"An agreement has been reached on two zones already, on Eastern Ghouta and north of Homs. There is still no agreement on Idlib," the source said. Furthermore, According to the source, Turkey had a position different from that of Syria and Iran on the issue of detainees' release.
It should be noted that at the end of Wednesday’s meeting at the Kazakh capital, Iran, Russia and Turkey agreed to hold the next round of the talks during the last week of August, and that they would meet in Tehran on August 1-2 in an effort to settle the outstanding disagreements on the zones.