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Russia Releases Its Astana Proposal for Syrian Ceasefire

May 1, 2017 (EIRNS)—With further Astana, Kazakhstan talks scheduled for May 3-4, Russia released a four-point proposal on how the ceasefire should proceed. It includes safety lines, checkpoints, and monitoring centers. The paper below has been distributed to opposition members, and is reported in Sputnik today:

  1. "Russia proposes creating four zones of reduction of tensions in Syria: in Idlib province, north of the city of Homs; in Eastern Ghouta; and in the South of Syria," the paper states. The warring parties would not be able to use any weapons in these zones, Sputnik reports.

    The paper emphasizes that it is necessary to create conditions to drive out Daesh and the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations (both outlawed in numerous countries) from de-escalation zones, with the help of the Syrian opposition.

  2. Russia also proposes "creating safety lines along all the borders of the de-escalation zones, in order to avoid direct fire between the sides of the Syrian conflict," the paper reads.

    Such lines would require checkpoints for the entrance of civilians without weapons and humanitarian deliveries, as well as monitoring centers to control the ceasefire regime.

  3. "Russian proposals on de-escalation in Syria envisage possible deployment of guarantor states’ armed groups to the country for ceasefire monitoring, and the creation of a joint working group to elaborate a plan with de-escalation borders shortly," the Russian paper with proposals reads.

    "It is possible that ceasefire guarantor states [Russia, Turkey, Iran] send armed groups ... for ceasefire monitoring..." the paper reads.

  4. 4) The guarantor states would have to create conditions in de-escalation zones in which the warring sides would allow a safe return home to refugees and internally displaced persons, the paper says.

    "For solving logistical issues, guarantor states need to create a joint working group for de-escalation, at the level of designated representatives... The working group will have to present maps with de-escalation zones borders and work plan proposals... as soon as possible," the Russian paper reads.