Friday, 22 June, 2018

Iran, Syria, energy: What's in store for Putin-Merkel summit in Sochi

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
Gerardo Duncan | 18 May, 2018, 15:54

Russian Federation welcomes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's decision to send a delegation to the United Nations to set up the constitutional committee, President Vladimir Putin said at talks with the Syrian leader on Thursday.

Since fighting broke out in his country in 2011, Assad has traveled only rarely but has made three publicly-acknowledged visits to Russian Federation, each time for meetings with Putin.

Russian Federation has been involved in Syria's civil war since September 2015.

"I have always said, and I repeat it again, that we have always wholeheartedly supported the political process, which should proceed in parallel with the war on terrorism".

"Stability is growing, and all this opens the door to a political process that we started some time ago".

"We know it will not be easy because some countries do not want stability to return to Syria".

It said that Russian Federation welcomes and supports this decision based on agreements reached in national dialogue meetings in Sochi. "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.

Meanwhile, Assad said that many positive changes have taken place as the areas under the control of terrorists arena in Syria have become smaller.

State-owned Rostec, established in late 2007, is Russia's largest weapons exporter.

Putin congratulated Assad on what he said were considerable achievements by the Syrian armed forces against terrorist units.

"Of course, after this military success additional conditions have been created to restart a full-format political process", he said. "Happy Ramadan!" Putin told Assad in Sochi.

Assad previously visited Russia and met with Putin in November 2017 and October 2015, and Putin travelled to the Russian air base in Syria last December to announce a scale-back of the Russian military presence there.

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