Russia’s Chief of Staff General Valery Gerasimov and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford confirmed in their phone conversation the readiness to reinstate the memorandum of understanding on safe flights over Syria and to draw up more measures so as to avoid any conflicts, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday.
“Syria was in focus of the talks in the light of the agreements, reached in Astana on May 4 this year, on establishing de-escalation zones in some regions of Syria,” the ministry said in a statement.
The top generals “confirmed readiness to re-assume in full the parties’ obligations under the Russian-US memorandum of understanding on air safety and prevention of incidents in Syria’s air space and besides, to continue work on additional measures so as to avoid conflict situations during (military) operations against ISIS (so-called Islamic State) and Jabhat al-Nusra.”
Besides, the conversation held at the US request highlighted “other issues on bilateral agenda” except Syria, the ministry said.
“The interlocutors agreed to maintain regular contacts,” the defense ministry said.
On May 4, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to set up four de-escalation zones in Syria. Under the memorandum signed at the talks in Astana, combat operations, including flights by military aircraft, are outlawed.
The memorandum was concluded for six months with chances of automatic prolongation for another six months. Russia’s Defense Ministry said earlier that the fight against Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups (outlawed in Russia – TASS) would be continued inside and around those zones.