Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Iran, Syria, energy: What's in store for Putin-Merkel summit in Sochi

Iran, Syria, energy: What's in store for Putin-Merkel summit in Sochi

Putin held talks with Assad in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Thursday, ahead of his meetings with European leaders.

According to the report, Putin has congratulated Assad on the "big achievements" made by the Syrian army in the war against terrorism, noting that the military successes have created suitable conditions for the resumption of the political process.

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.

The visit of Assad to Sochi is his second, as last November the president met with Putin in Sochi and hailed the Russian support to Syria.

Russia's entry into the conflict in 2015 turned the tide of the conflict in Assad's favor and established Russian Federation as a powerbroker in the Middle East.

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

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"Stability is improving, and all that opens the doors to the political process, which we started a while ago", Assad told Putin, according to a transcript of the opening remarks from the meeting posted on the Kremlin website.

"We know it will not be easy because some countries do not want stability to return to Syria. However, together with you and our other partners and friends, we will move firmly forward with the peace process", Assad was quoted as saying. He thanked the Russian military for playing an important role in the fight.

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

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.

"The talks were quite detailed", Peskov said.

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