Vladimir Putin meets Bashar al-Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a rare meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and said the military success in Syria allowed for a large-scale political process leading to the withdrawal of foreign forces and the reconstruction of the country.

Russian president met Mr Assad Wednesday in the southern Russian city of Sochi, a day after UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura warned a regime assault on the rebel-held area of Idlib could affect 2.3 million people.

According to a statement released by the Kremlin, Mr Putin said that after the success of the Syrian government army in the fight against the terrorists the condition is in place for the start of a political process on a major scale.

Mr Putin added that the next task, of course, is the economic recovery and humanitarian aid for those people in a difficult situation. Russia has been involved in Syria’s civil war since September 2015.

Its military support not only ensured the survival of Assad’s regime but also changed the course of the war.