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Syria's Assad Meets With Russia's Putin In Sochi

Syria's Assad Meets With Russia's Putin In Sochi

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

The Russian leader said the military successes have created suitable conditions for the resumption of the political process in Syria.

"We expect support from the United Nations and all countries that are interested in the settlement of the Syrian crisis", the Russian president said.

The latest round of Syria peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana wrapped up on Tuesday, but did not make any concrete progress towards ending the seven-year conflict that has cost 350,000 lives.

The two leaders discussed the ongoing clashes in Syria between pro-Assad forces and civilian rebels. "The cruise missile attacks and the effective work of the carrier aviation dealt a serious blow to the terrorists, destroying important infrastructure facilities", Putin said, according to a Kremlin transcript.

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

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

"Now we can take the next steps together with you", Putin told Assad.

Moscow has backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in that country's civil war since 2015, ensuring the survival of a Middle Eastern ally and guaranteeing continued access to the strategically vital Mediterranean Sea.

Assad said he is committed to political reform, without elaborating.

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