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Russia, Syria can start work to rebuild Syrian economy, says Putin

According to Russian President, "much has already been done within the Astana process"

SOCHI, May 17./TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin believes time has come for rebuilding the Syrian economy and suggested Syrian President Bashar al-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 on Thursday.

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.

"I want to congratulate you on considerable achievements of the Syrian government army in fight against terrorist units. Owing to efforts taken by your military over the recent time, major moves have been made towards the further strengthening of the constituted authority," the Russian leader told his Syrian counterpart.

He said "terrorists have laid down arms in Syria’s key points, which has made it possible to rebuild Syria’s infrastructure, push them back, and practically stop their activity close to the Syrian capital".

Putin stressed that Moscow stays "in contact with all parties in this difficult process [of the Syrian settlement], including the United Nations and the envoy of the [UN] secretary general, [Staffan] de Mistura".