Putin, Assad hail achievements in Syria

Saul Bowman
May 18, 2018

"This stability is a wide door opened for the political process", Assad told Putin, according to the report.

India is not going to allow in any manner its defence programe to be dictated by any other country, the government said here on Thursday when all eyes are on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first "informal" Summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 21.

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.

Since fighting broke out in Syria in 2011, the Syrian president has traveled three times to Russian Federation for talks with Putin - visits that underscored Moscow's status as Assad's chief backer. Its military support not only ensured the survival of Mr Assad's regime, it changed the course of the war.

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

They said the issues on the table may include economic impact on India and Russian Federation in the wake of the USA withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, situation in Afghanistan, Syria, threat of terrorism and matters relating to upcoming SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) and BRICS summits. "Therefore, Russia is not supposed to initiate this discussion".

"After the military success (of the Syrian army in recent months) supplementary conditions have been created which favour the start of a political process on a major scale", Mr Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin following the meeting in the southern Russian city of Sochi.

He thanked the Russian military for playing an important role in the fight. The two leaders would hold free-wheeling discussions on bilateral issues as well as global developments.

Putin is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday and French President Emmanuel Macron next week.

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