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Aljazeera: Turkey and Russia push for safe-zones in Syria

04.05.2017 18:24

The opposition is reportedly to return to talks in Astana, Kazakhstan after walking out on Wednesday because of air strikes in Syria.

The presidents of Russia and Turkey are pushing for the creation of safe-zones in war-torn Syria as talks were expected to resume on Thursday in Kazakhstan between the government and the opposition.

Turkey and Russia are deeply entangled in the war in Syria, including each having troops on the ground - Ankara supporting various Syrian opposition factions and Moscow backing President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

The opposition suspended its participation at the talks in Astana, the Kazakh capital, on Wednesday in protest of air attacks that hit areas under their control in Syria, demanding a halt to the government's bombardment.

Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal, reporting from Astana, said it wasn't 100 percent certain that the rebels would return.

Russian representatives had presented the rebels with a proposal for four "de-escalation zones" in Syria where the warring sides would be separated by "security lines".

The four zones include areas in the provinces of Idlib and Homs, the Eastern Ghouta suburb outside Damascus, and an area in the south of the country. The zones, according to the proposal, would be monitored by international observers and allow for the voluntary return of refugees.

Later on Wednesday, Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, called on the opposition to return to the talks in Astana "because what is important is also to look at the possibility of an outcome on a de-escalation". He stressed the importance of not destroying "the opportunity of good news" related to this issue.