Published: Tue, November 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Russia's Putin, Syria's Assad meet in Sochi

Russia's Putin, Syria's Assad meet in Sochi

Vladimir Putin has met with Syrian president Bashar Assad in Sochi.

Vladimir Putin congratulated Bashar Assad for his success in fighting Islamist militants, saying "Syria is striving in the fight against terrorist groups", adding "the Syrian people are going through very hard trials and are gradually approaching the final, unavoidable rout of terrorists".

A Russian state TV report said the two leaders held bilateral talks on Monday and then met with Russian military chiefs.

"Over this time, huge successes have been achieved, both on the battlefield an on the political level. Numerous regions of Syria are liberated from terrorists, and Syrians, who had to flee these areas, have been able to return", Assad said. "It must be admitted that this operation allowed us to advance the political settlement in Syria". He announced that he expects Russia's assistance on the political settlement in Syria.

Also on Wednesday, Syria's Saudi-backed opposition is scheduled to gather for three-day talks ahead of United Nations peace talks next week.

"On the basis of our meeting today, I will hold consultations with the leaders of the countries that I already spoke about. The main question concerns the political process that will be launched after terrorists are defeated, and is expected to help find a long-term solution to the Syrian crisis", Putin told Assad.

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