Modi, Putin talks to focus on terror, regional issues

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with the top military brass

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with the top military brass

In his first foreign trip after the US -led strike on Syria last April, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad paid a visit to Russian Federation where he met with President Vladimir Putin in Sochi resort city on Thursday.

"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.

For its part, Russia's Kremlin manifested that Assad had expressed his willingness to Putin to start a political compromise to solve the Syrian issue, following a meeting with Russian defense and foreign ministers.

Mr Putin said the Russian air force would receive 160 new aircraft this year
Mr Putin said the Russian air force would receive 160 new aircraft this year

It said the two also discussed economic cooperation and growing investments by Russian companies in Syria.

In remarks cited by the Kremlin, Putin congratulated the Syrian leader on what he said were significant successes on the battlefield achieved by the Syrian military.

Russian Federation has been involved in Syria's civil war since September 2015. Its military support not only ensured the survival of Mr Assad's regime, it changed the course of the war.

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Russia, Iran and Turkey have been attempting to resolve the conflict in the talks that started previous year in Astana in competition with a United States and UN-backed Geneva initiative.

According to the Kremlin statement, Assad said "stability is improving" in Syria, "opening the door to the political process we started some time ago".

"We know it will not be easy because some countries do not want stability to return to Syria". He thanked the Russian military for playing an important role in the fight.

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"During today's meeting we have agreed upon the next steps with the Syrian president related to countering terrorism and the terrorist groups in Syria", Putin said.

Syria's conflict began with mass protests against the Assad family's decades-long rule.

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