On October 20, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad paid a working visit to Moscow. The Russian-Syrian talks were held in the Kremlin with participation of Russian top leadership. As the Kremlin press office informs, Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked the Syrian counterpart for coming to Moscow despite the dramatic situation in Syria.
“Upon your request, we have made a decision to render effective support to the Syrian people in combatting international terrorism that waged a real war against Syria. The Syrian people are practically alone in fighting it, they have been counteracting the international terrorism with several years already, they have suffered serious losses, but recently, they have achieved some positive results in this fight,” Vladimir Putin is quoted as saying.
As he noted, attempts of international terror organizations to pit under their control vast territories in the Middle East and destabilize the situation make many countries concerned. “It also worries Russia. I mean, natives of former USSR countries are fighting with arms against the Syrian government forces, there are about at least 4,000 of them there. Of course, we cannot allow them coming to the Russian territory after they gain battle experience and undergo ideological training,” the Russian leader said.
As for the Syrian settlement, Putin announced that Russia believes that a long-term peaceful settlement can be achieved based on the positive dynamics of the military action but finally on the basis of a political process involving all political forces, ethnic and religious groups. “And the Syrian people, of course, are to decide,” he stated.
“Syria is a friendly country for us. We are ready to make fair share of contribution not only in the military action in combatting terrorism, but in the political process as well. Evidently, this should be done in close contact with other world and regional powers interested in peaceful conflict settlement,” the Russian president stressed.
In his turn, Bashar al-Assad thanked the Russian leadership and people for the assistance to Syria.
“I would to thank them for supporting Syria’s integrity and independence. The main thing is this is done in the framework of the international law. I must say, the political steps taken by the Russian Federation since the beginning of the crisis did not let the developments taking a more dramatic track. Terrorism that penetrated the region would have covered bigger territories, were it not for your actions and decisions. The actions were confirmed by your participation in the military action within the common battle against terrorism. Of course, everyone comprehends that any military action should have political actions to follow. And, no doubt, our common task should be what the Syrian people want to see in their future,” the Syrian president said.
As he stressed, it is necessary to focus upon the fact that strikes on terrorism are necessary to beat it and that terrorism is a real obstacle in the way to political settlement. “Undoubtedly, all our people want to take part in setting the fate of our country, not only the leadership. I would thank once again the Russian people for the assistance they are rendering to us, and express hope that we will win over the terrorism and continue restoring our country together, both in economy, politics and peaceful existence of everyone,” al-Assad noted.