World

Syria's Assad meets with Putin in Russian Federation

Syria's Assad meets with Putin in Russian Federation

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that Assad informed the Russian leader of his decision to "send a delegation to the UN" to discuss reforming the country's constitution.

"After the military success (of the Syrian army in recent months) supplementary conditions have been created which favour the start of a political process on a major scale", Mr Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin following the meeting in the southern Russian city of Sochi. The UN has hosted several rounds of peace talks in Geneva that have made no progress toward ending the conflict.

Assad said the areas controlled by terrorists have substantially diminished.

The news agency also paraphrased Mr. Putin's message, though slightly differently, saying that, "in the course of the meeting Putin announced to Assad that he was counting on the withdrawal of foreign armed forces from the territory of Syria".

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Putin said that along with giving a boost to a political process, it is important "to take necessary steps towards rebuilding the Syrian economy, as well as settle long-pending hard, but pressing humanitarian issues".

Despite the possible bumps down the road, Assad said he would stay committed to all political efforts. It said that Russian Federation welcomes and supports this decision based on agreements reached in national dialogue meetings in Sochi. Moscow launched an air campaign on behalf of Assad's forces in 2015 that tipped the conflict in his favor.

The visit of Assad to Sochi is his second, as last November the president met with Putin in Sochi and hailed the Russian support to Syria.

Syria's conflict began with mass protests against the Assad family's decades-long rule.


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