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Putin pays visit to Damascus, meets Syria’s al-Assad

Russian President also underlined that it is clear to the naked eye that peaceful life is returning to the streets of Damascus

MOSCOW, January 7. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Damascus for a visit, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

"Vladimir Putin travelled from the airport to the headquarters of the Russian Armed Forces group in the Syrian Arab Republic, drove down the streets of Damascus," he underlined.

"Putin was met by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the headquarters," Peskov informed. "The leaders heard military reports on developments in various regions of the country," the spokesman added.

Later, bilateral talks between the Russian and Syrian delegations took place. "Talking to [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad, Putin underlined that it can certainly be said now that much ground was covered to restore Syria’s statehood and territorial integrity," the spokesman pointed out. According to him, "Putin also underlined that it is clear to the naked eye that peaceful life is returning to the streets of Damascus."

Peskov also informed that al-Assad in turn extended his gratitude to Putin for his visit to Damascus. "The Syrian president showed appreciation for Russia and the Russian troops’ help in fighting terrorism and restoring peaceful life in Syria," he stressed. "Al-Assad also extended warm wishes to Putin and the whole Russian nation on the occasion of the Christmas," Peskov said. Putin’s agenda in Syria includes a few other visits, the spokesman added.

Putin last travelled to Syria in December 2017. He then arrived at Khmeimim Air Base where he was greeted by al-Assad as well as Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Sergey Surovikin who served as commander of the Russia forces in Syria then. Putin and al-Assad held a meeting with Russian officers and heard Surovikin’s report updating them about the operation aimed at clearing the country of terrorist presence.