No: 139, 4 May 2017, Press Release Regarding the Signing of the Memorandum on the Creation of De-Escalation Areas in Syria

The fourth round of Astana meetings, which were initiated to consolidate the country-wide ceasefire declared on 30 December 2016, to support the efforts to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict and to develop confidence building measures to be adopted by the conflicting parties in Syria, was held on 3-4 May 2017.

A Memorandum on the creation of de-escalation areas in Idlib province and certain parts of Latakia, Aleppo and Hama provinces; in certain parts of Homs province; in Eastern Ghouta/Damascus and in certain parts of Deraa and Al-Quneitra provinces was signed by the Republic of Turkey, the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran, as guarantors of the ceasefire regime.

Operational and technical issues related to the delineation of the lines of the de-escalation areas as well as to their administration will be tackled by the Joint Working Group to be formed among the three Guarantors.

We welcome this Memorandum which stipulates cessation of hostilities between the conflicting parties with the use of any kind of weapons, including aerial assets, and provision of urgent and unhindered humanitarian access in the above-mentioned areas.

Turkey will actively continue its efforts to ensure the effective implementation of this Memorandum with a view to consolidating the current ceasefire regime, thereby improving the situation on the ground, which ultimately would help, on the one hand, facilitating the advancement of the political process while on the other hand, meeting the security and humanitarian needs of Syrians in their own country.