Moscow and Ankara will not expand the safe zone in northeastern Syria, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev told reporters on Tuesday.
“The memorandum signed by Presidents Putin and Erdogan clearly defines the safe zone. It needs to be maintained in its current form. This is the only way. Expanding the zone will do nothing good,” he said in response to a question.
According to Lavrentyev, the situation in the safe zone is more or less stable. “Various forces continue to stage provocations but on the whole, I think that we have succeeded in stabilizing the situation there. In my view, it is a very good sign,” the Russian presidential envoy emphasized.
On December 10-11, Kazakhstan’s capital of Nur-Sultan is hosting the 14th round of talks on Syria involving the guarantors of the Astana process (Russia, Iran and Turkey), the Syrian government and the armed opposition, as well as high-ranking representatives from the United Nations, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
Lavrentyev and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin head the Russian delegation to the meeting, the Turkish delegation is led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal. The talks are taking place behind closed doors.