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Putin, Assad discuss further moves towards political settlement in Syria

May 17, 21:42 UTC+3

The two presidents held talks in Sochi on Thursday

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President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and Russian President Vladimir Putin

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and Russian President Vladimir Putin

© Mikhail Klementyev/Russian presidential press service/TASS

SOCHI, May 17. /TASS/. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Bashar al-Assad of Syria, who held talks in Sochi on Thursday, pointed out the importance of creating further conditions for resumption of a full-fledged process of political settlement in Syria, the Kremlin's Acting Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters upon completion of the meeting.

"The talks were quite detailed," he said. "President [Putin] pointed out the Syrian Armed Forces' considerable achievements in struggle with terrorist units and congratulated Assad on this occasion."

"The two presidents pointed out the importance of setting up more conditions that would facilitate the resumption of a full-fledged political process and they also noted success of the Astana process, as well as of the Congress of the Syrian People, which had been held in Sochi," Peskov said. "Today's talks focused on further joint steps."

Assad assured Russian President Vladimir Putin that Damascus enthusiastically supports a political process in the republic with a parallel fight against terrorism.

"Stability is growing, and all this opens the door to a political process that we started some time ago," he said at talks with the Russian leader on Thursday. "I have always said, and I want to reiterate that we have always enthusiastically supported a political process that should proceed hand-in-hand with fight against terrorism," the Syrian leader said.

Putin believes time has come for rebuilding the Syrian economy and suggested Syrian President Bashar Assad to discuss these plans.

"Of course, after this military success additional conditions have been created to restart a full-format political process," he said at talks with Assad.

According to Putin, "much has already been done within the Astana process. Much has also been done within the framework of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in Sochi," he said. "Now, we can make next moves jointly with you. And of course, the next task is economic recovery and humanitarian assistance to the people who found themselves in a difficult situation," the Russian president said.

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