Assad Meets Putin in a Surprise Visit to Russian Federation
Assad Meets Putin in a Surprise Visit to Russian Federation
Syrian President Assad tells Putin: 'Door open to political process'
18 May, 2018, 15:52
Thursday, 17, may, Sochi hosted a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, said the press service of the Russian AP.
According to the report, Putin has congratulated Assad on the "big achievements" made by the Syrian army in the war against terrorism, noting that the military successes have created suitable conditions for the resumption of the political process.
He also visited Putin in Moscow in October 2015, soon after Russian Federation launched its military operation in Syria.
This time, the Russian President (known for excellent German skills) and the German Chancellor (a fluent Russian speaker) are set to meet face-to-face in the resort city of Sochi.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Observers believed Assad's visit to Sochi proved the support provided from Moscow to the Syrian regime, and deemed a Russian attempt to stop the military escalation between Damascus and Tel Aviv.
Putin said the next task is "economic recovery and humanitarian assistance to the people who found themselves in a hard situation".
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.
Assad assured that the country returns to stability and it promotes the political process begun earlier. "However, together with you and our other partners and friends, we will move firmly forward with the peace process", Assad was quoted as saying.
He said the two also discussed economic cooperation and growing investments by Russian companies in Syria.
But the special envoy noted that half of the people in the northern rebel province of Idlib had already fled from other parts of Syria, "and will have nowhere else to go because there is no other place to go".
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