Vladimir Putin calls for 'political process' on Syria

Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali in Moscow Russia

Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali in Moscow Thomson Reuters

Syrian President Bashar Assad made a surprise visit to Russian Federation to meet President Vladimir Putin yesterday at his summer residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

"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.

A day after United Nations special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura warned a regime assault on the rebel-held area of Idlib could affect 2.3 million people, Putin met Assad in the southern Russian city of Sochi.

Putin hailed the Syrian army's victories over militants in Syria, stressing that Syrian soldiers have achieved significant progress recently in boosting the legitimate authority of the Syrian regime.

Russian Federation has been involved in Syria's civil war since September 2015.

"The next task, of course, is the economic recovery and humanitarian aid for those people in a hard situation", Putin added.

"I have always said, and I repeat it again, that we have always wholeheartedly supported the political process, which should proceed in parallel with the war on terrorism".

"We know that the political process will not be easy, since there are countries that do not want stability to Syria. 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.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Western attacks in the country removed any moral obstacle to arming Syria.

Regime forces recaptured Ghouta from rebels last month after a ferocious offensive that displaced tens of thousands, both to government-controlled zones around Damascus and to opposition-held parts of northern Syria.

Sources said the two leaders will meet for around four to six hours for the "agendaless" talks where deliberations on bilateral issues are likely to be very limited.

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