Syrian President holds meeting with Russian President

Putin Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, and said the situation in Syria is now favourable for the beginning of a "political process" which would lead to the withdrawal of foreign forces.

The negotiations were successful, Putin praised and congratulated Assad with the Syrian army's successes in the fight against terrorists.

The Russian president said: "Given the victories and successes of the Syrian army in the war on terror, in light of the onset of a more active period, and in light of the fact that a more active political process has begun, foreign armed forces will start leaving Syrian territory".

He also visited Putin in Moscow in October 2015, soon after Russian Federation launched its military operation in Syria.

"This stability is a wide door opened for the political process", Assad told Putin, according to the report. 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.

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"The next task, of course, is the economic recovery and humanitarian aid for those people in a hard situation", Putin added.

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. The UN has hosted several rounds of peace talks in Geneva that have made no progress towards ending the conflict.

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

Russia, Iran and Turkey have been attempting to resolve the conflict in the talks that started previous year in Astana in competition with a United States and UN-backed Geneva initiative. "But with you and other partners and friends, we will continue to make strong progress in the peace process", Assad was quoted as saying in the statement.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the meeting, which had not been announced in advance, took place on Thursday.

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