Syrian conflict, Putin and Assad celebrate success in fight against terrorism

The Kremlin leader acclaims "results" achieved. For Moscow, the "definitive" defeat of the rebel groups is imminent and it is time to "shift" attention to the "political process". On Putin's agenda consultations with Trump and Qatari emir.


Sochi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, congratulating him with the "results" obtained in the fight against terrorism in the Arab country at war since March 2011. The two allies - Moscow is the main supporter of the Syrian government alongside Iran – held direct talks yesterday evening in Sochi, a tourist resort on the Black Sea, two days ahead of the Astana summit, sponsored by Moscow, Tehran and Ankara (close to the rebels).

A Kremlin press statement reads that Russian President Putin underlined that the active terrorist galaxy in Syria is now nearing a "definitive defeat." The Russian leader then added that it is time to "shift" attention to the "political process" for a long-term solution that brings peace to a nation battered by a war that has caused nearly 400,000 victims and millions of refugees.

The note adds that Putin spoke at length with his Syrian counterpart Assad, "who was in Russia on a working visit". The meeting took place in the summer residence of the head of the Kremlin, located in the famous seaside resort on the Black Sea, home of the 2014Winter Olympics.

The two leaders also discussed the theme of the "political and peaceful settlement" of the "long-term" process that will lead to the ceasefire in Syria. The hope is that it will take place "under the aegis of the United Nations".

With the "inevitable and definitive" victory against terrorist groups (and jihadists) now imminent, the stabilization and pacification of the country  is the new goal of the leaders who will participate in the upcoming summit in the capital of Kazakhstan.

For his part, the Syrian leader Assad expressed "the Syrian people's gratitude" for Moscow's help stating that their presence has guaranteed Syria's "territorial integrity and independence". In fact,  Russian intervention has proven crucial for the outcome of the conflict..

Following the meeting with Assad, the Russian president is scheduled to hold talks this evening with White House leader Donald Trump. An appointment that is part of a series of "consultations" with heads of state and government that also includes a "confrontation with the emir of Qatar", which is also scheduled for today. (DS)

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