Syrian President Assad tells Putin: 'Door open to political process'

Despite sanctions Russia's weapons export grows in 2017

Despite sanctions Russia's weapons export grows in 2017

Syrian President Bashar Assad traveled to Sochi, Russia, to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, The Associated Press reported.

Assad said the meeting at the opening of the Sochi Summit is an "opportunity to put forward a mutual vision for the next stage for the peace talks either in Astana or Sochi".

Assad's words were quoted in a transcript the Kremlin uploaded at its official homepage.

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

Putin said on his part that it was important to take the necessary steps towards restoration of Syrian economy and for settling the long-overdue knotty problems, solution of which was essential for the untangling of humanitarian issues.

"This stability is a wide door opened for the political process", Assad told Putin, according to the report. Support allies Russian Federation and Iran played a crucial role in the Syrian military reversing gains by rebels and jihadis, and Putin congratulated his Syrian counterpart on "the significant success of the Syrian government army in the fight against terrorist groups", which he should be followed by "a full-fledged political process".

Putin said "much has already been done within the Astana process". "Much has also been done within the framework of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in Sochi", he said. "Now, we can make next moves jointly with you [Assad]", he added. "And of course, the next task is economic recovery and humanitarian assistance to the people who found themselves in a hard situation", the Russian president said.

"Of course, after this military success additional conditions have been created to restart a full-format political process", he said at talks with Assad.

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