Monday, 28 May, 2018

Putin, Assad hail achievements in Syria

Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali in Moscow Russia Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali in Moscow Thomson Reuters
Jay Anderson | 18 May, 2018, 15:56

Russian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Syrian Bashar al-Assad held talks in Sochi yesterday, the Kremlin's Acting Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said upon completion of the meeting.

The Russian President said military success in Syria allows a large-scale political process leading to withdraw of foreign forces and reconstruction of country.

The last meeting between Assad and Putin was in December at a Russian military air base in Syria's coastal city of Latakia. The fallout over the Iran deal is a rare topic for rapprochement between Europe and Moscow, whose relations are marred by disagreements over the Syria conflict, Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea and the subsequent war in eastern Ukraine.

According to the report, Putin congratulated Assad on the "big achievement" recorded by the Syrian army in the war against terrorism.

Putin said the next task is "economic recovery and humanitarian assistance to the people who found themselves in a hard situation".




"Stability is improving, and all that opens the doors to the political process, which we started a while ago", Assad told Putin, according to a transcript of the opening remarks from the meeting posted on the Kremlin website.

In a statement from the Syrian presidency, Assad added on Thursday "we have evaluated the political process" and will select candidates for a constitutional committee, a suggestion proposed in January at a summit in Sochi, that will work with the United Nations.

"We know that will not be easy since there are countries which do not want stability to return to Syria. But with you and other partners and friends, we will continue to make strong progress in the peace process", Mr Assad was quoted as saying in the statement.

Assad said he also discussed with Putin economic cooperation and growing investments by Russian companies in Syria. He thanked the Russian military for playing an important role in the fight.

Sources said the two leaders will meet for around four to six hours for the "agendaless" talks where deliberations on bilateral issues are likely to be very limited.

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