Photo Credit: Courtesy the Kremlin
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Sochi

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, the Kremlin press service said in a statement. It also noted that Putin would be conferring with the presidents of Turkey and Iran on Wednesday this week.

The two leaders agreed that the military operation in Syria is coming to an end, and emphasized the need to launch political processes.

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“I believe that the problem of terrorism is universal, a lot should be done to achieve a complete victory over terrorism, but as far as our cooperation in the fight against terrorists in Syria goes, the military operation is really coming to an end,” Putin said. “I think that now the main thing is to move to the political processes, and I am pleased to see your readiness to work with everyone willing to establish peace and find solutions.”

Assad pointed out that ” huge successes have been achieved, both on the battlefield an on the political level. Many areas in Syria have been liberated from terrorists, and civilians who were forced to leave those areas have been able to return.”

“We must admit that the operation made it possible to advance the process of political settlement in Syria,” he added.

“The day after tomorrow [November 22], I plan to meet with my counterparts, the presidents of Turkey and Iran, here in Sochi,” Putin told Assad. “We had an agreement to hold additional consultations with you during a personal meeting. The main question concerns the political process that will be launched after the terrorists are defeated, and is expected to help find a long-term solution to the Syrian crisis.”

“I would very much like to discuss with you the major principles of launching a political process and preparations for a congress of the Syrian people, which you have welcomed. I would also like to hear your opinion about the current state of affairs and prospects for further developments, including your view of the political process, which, as we see it, should be sponsored by the United Nations. We expect the UN to actively participate in the process, particularly during its final stage,” the Russian president said.

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