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LAST_UPDATEMon, 21 May 2018 11pm

‘De-Escalation’ Zones Successfully Eliminate Daesh In Syria

ASTANA -- The establishment of the ‘de-escalation’ zones in Syrian provinces of Latakia, Homs, Aleppo, Hama and Idlib had successfully eliminated the Daesh presence in that war-torn country.

Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov who read out a joint statement from the three guarantor countries -- Turkey, Russia and Iran at a press conference here, said the countries, therefore, reaffirmed their determination to take all the necessary measures to continue the fight against any terrorist activities, within and outside the ‘de-escalation’ zones.

The zones, resulted from the 7th round of talks to date, which began early this year, had largely defeated the Daesh, Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaeda and Daesh (or ISIL).

Abdrakhmanov said the countries also agreed that there was "no" military solution to the Syrian issue and that it should be solved through a political process.

All the three countries also agreed to discuss Russia’s proposal to convene a "Congress of the national dialogue”.

He said conflicting parties needed to take "confidence‑building measures" including the release of detainees or abductees and the handover of the bodies as well as identification of missing persons, to create better conditions for a political process and lasting cease-fire.

The three countries also underlined the necessity to further increase the international humanitarian aid to Syria and to provide rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

The next meeting in Astana is expected to be held in the second half on December this year.

The two-day meeting in Astana, which focused on strengthening a ceasefire that came into effect on Dec 30 last year, also addressed the release of prisoners and hostages and humanitarian action on mines.

Brokered by Turkey, Russia and Iran, representatives of the Syrian regime, armed opposition groups, as well as delegations from the UN, Jordan and the United States attended the talks.

-- BERNAMA