Final De-escalation Zone Agreed at Syrian Peace Talks

The parties at the Syrian peace talks in Kazakhstan have agreed the boundaries of the final de-escalation zone, Turkish and Russian diplomatic officials said Friday. Officials from Turkey, Russia and Iran have agreed the borders of the zone in the northern province of Idlib and are negotiating over which monitors will be deployed, the officials said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

US Orders Closure of Russia Consulate in San Francisco

The United States has ordered Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco and two annex buildings in Washington, DC and New York City by Saturday, the State Department has said. The move on Thursday came as a response to Moscow's demands that the size of the US mission in Russia be reduced. Last month, Russia ordered the US to cut its diplomatic and technical staff in Russia by more than half, to 455 people, after Congress overwhelmingly approved new sanctions against Russia.