ISTANBUL, October 27. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested supporting the Russian initiative to convene an international conference on Syrian refugees.
"We proposed to our partners that Russia’s initiative to convene an international conference on Syrian refugees be supported. We are aware of everything related to this, we are aware of the problems, but unless we join efforts, we won’t achieve any results," Putin said on Saturday at a news conference after the four-way summit on Syria in Istanbul.
The Russian president pointed out that the talks focused on humanitarian aid to the Syrian people and on assistance in the return of refugees to the country.
"Russia spares no effort in this area, but in order to drastically improve the situation in the country, to handle acute social problems and to revive the economy, the world’s collective efforts are needed," he said.
Positive experience for such joint steps already exists, he underlined. In July 2018, Russia and France carried out a joint humanitarian operation delivering aid to Eastern Ghouta.
"We have been speaking much about this today and came to the conclusion that the very notion of ‘humanitarian aid’ should be expanded and it should include deliveries of medical equipment, medicines, and efforts to rebuild infrastructure and to resume water supplies," Putin added.
Syria has created conditions for accommodation of up to 1.5 million refugees and "Syria’s government provides firm guarantees of security and non-discriminatory attitude to all those who will wish to come back to their homes."
Prior to the four-party summit, Putin had held bilateral meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Russian president plans to hold talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the Istanbul summit. Besides, Putin praised "difficult, thorough and highly professional work" of the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in finding solutions to the Syria crisis.
On Saturday, Istanbul hosted a four-party summit on Syria that was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.