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

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

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

Putin congratulated Assad on what he said were considerable achievements by the Syrian armed forces against terrorist units.

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

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 Assad's regime but also changed the course of the war. The United Nations has hosted several rounds of peace talks in Geneva that have made no progress toward ending the conflict.

"After these military successes, additional conditions have doubtless been created for the renewal of a fully fledged political process", he was quoted as saying.

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The informal summit between the two leaders, which, has a broad-based agenda on global and regional issues, is expected to see the discussions on global terrorism, situation in Afghanistan-Pakistan, Syria, Islamic State (IS), the sources added.

Sources said there could be more such informal summits between Modi and other world leaders in the coming months as India eyes to play an important role in global power dynamics. The two leaders would hold free-wheeling discussions on bilateral issues as well as worldwide developments.

But the special envoy noted that half of the people in the northern rebel province of Idlib had already fled from other parts of Syria, "and will have nowhere else to go because there is no other place to go".

The Russian President is also meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in the next few weeks.