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Russia, France Agree on Military Coordination in Syria

Russia, France Agree on Military Coordination in Syria

Tuesday, 19 November, 2019 - 08:15
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron (File photo: Reuters)
Moscow - Raed Jabr
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron where the two discussed the latest developments in the Syrian crisis, announced the Kremlin.

A statement issued by the Russian presidency said the talks touched on a number of bilateral and international issues, with a special focus on Syria.

When discussing the situation in Syria, the two presidents emphasized the importance of launching the Constitutional Committee and the organization of comprehensive humanitarian aid to Syria.

The Kremlin indicated that Putin and Macron agreed to further coordinate the work of French and Russian military agencies to effectively counter-terrorism in the region.

Russian circles have linked between the discussion of military cooperation with the issue of US withdrawal from some areas in northeastern Syria and Washington’s ongoing operations to increase its military presence in areas east of the Euphrates.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan announced the postponement of the international meeting on a ceasefire in Syria between the guarantors: Russia, Turkey, and Iran till early December.

This is the third delay of the meeting, which was originally scheduled for mid-October, and then postponed to mid-November in order to give an opportunity for the preparations of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva.

Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi announced to reporters on Monday that there are preliminary plans to hold the meeting on Syrian settlement in early December.

"The parties intend to hold talks in early December. We are expecting an official request," the minister clarified.

The announcement reflects a lack of final agreement between the three guarantors on the arrangements for the next meeting within the framework of the Astana track.

In addition, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a meeting between Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan could take place in January 2020.

The last round of Astana process meeting on Syria was held in Kazakhstan's capital Nur-Sultan in August. Among participants were delegates from guarantor countries, from the Syrian government and from the armed opposition and the observers were representatives from the UN, Jordan as well as Lebanon and Iraq.

On Monday also, Russia escalated its tone towards the situation in Idlib, as the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria announced that gunmen stationed in the de-escalation zone continue to violate the ceasefire.

The Center registered 30 truce breaches in the country over the past 24 hours carried by armed militants in areas including Aleppo, Hama, Idlib, and Lattakia districts.

The center, based in the Russian airbase of Hmeimim in Latakia countryside, renewed its call to the leaders of armed groups to abandon armed provocations and take the path of peaceful settlement in areas under their control.

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