Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Putin meets Assad, calls for 'political process' on Syria

Putin meets Assad, calls for 'political process' on Syria

Syrian President Bashar Assad made a surprise visit to Russian Federation to meet President Vladimir Putin on Thursday at his summer residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Bashar Al-Assad told his Russian counterpart about Syria's progress in fighting terrorism.

According to a Kremlin statement, Mr Assad said "stability is improving" in Syria, "opening the door to the political process we started some time ago".

Syria has been embroiled in a complicated, multi-sided civil war involving foreign powers, rebels and jihadists.

In a statement from the Syrian presidency, Mr Assad said "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.

Putin and Assad met on the eve of a meeting in Sochi between Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the first face-to-face talk of the year between the veteran leaders.

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Russian Federation said it intervened militarily in Syria to defeat violent Islamist extremists who had taken control over parts of the country and were launching bomb and gun attacks in other parts of the world. Russian Federation says it never targets civilian areas.

"President [Putin] pointed out the Syrian Armed Forces' considerable achievements in struggle with terrorist units and congratulated Assad on this occasion".

"And of course now, after these military successes, additional conditions have doubtless been created for the renewal of a fully-fledged political process".

"The terrorists have laid down their arms in key locations in Syria, which has allowed for the restoration of Syrian infrastructure", Putin was cited as saying.

For its part, Russia's Kremlin manifested that Assad had expressed his willingness to Putin to start a political compromise to solve the Syrian issue, following a meeting with Russian defense and foreign ministers.

Assad was making his second visit to see Putin in Sochi.

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