Syrian President holds meeting with Russian President

Russian and Indian national flags

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have hailed achievements in what they called the fight against terrorists in Syria.

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

A posting on the Syrian presidency's Facebook page said the two leaders consulted on various issues of mutual interest and the latest political and military developments in Syria.

"The two parties have noted the necessity to create additional conditions for the resumption of full-format political process in Syria".

Merkel has already said that the Syrian war has grown into a conflict of "gigantic proportions", and it is impossible to be solved without backing from Russia, Europe and others - but not the US.

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Assad previously visited Russia and met with Putin in November 2017 and October 2015, and Putin travelled to the Russian air base in Syria last December to announce a scale-back of the Russian military presence there.

Putin congratulated Assad on what he said were considerable achievements by the Syrian armed forces against terrorist units. Indo-Russia cooperation in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) issues are likely to be discussed.

"Thanks to military successes, we are managing to normalise the situation in the country, opening the way for the return of many of our compatriots".

But rebel factions still control large parts of northwestern and southwestern Syria, while a Kurdish-led alliance backed by the United States holds most of the northeast.

Peskov restated Moscow's position that the economic sanctions were illegal, but added that Russian Federation was keen to talk with Angela Merkel and the French leader Emmanuel Macron, whose visit is scheduled for next week, Deutsche Welle reported.

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