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

Bashar al-Assad has travelled to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin

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

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

The warships will remain on "permanent standby" to counter the "remaining terrorist threat in Syria", Russian state media quoted Putin as saying during a gathering of military and defense industry leaders at the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

The two leaders in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

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.

"Stability is growing, and all this opens the door to a political process that we started some time ago", he said.

Meanwhile, Putin has said that with the notable military achievements in Syria and the activation of the political process, "all foreign forces must withdraw from Syria", according to SANA.

The Russian president said the terrorists have laid down their arms in key locations in Syria, allowing for the restoration of Syrian infrastructure. "I have always said, and now I repeat once again, that we always enthusiastically support the political process, which should go hand in hand with the fight against terrorism", Assad said.

In January of this year, the Sochi talks on Syria reached an agreement about the formation of a constitutional committee supervised by the United Nations to discuss amendments to the current constitution. The situation in Syria will likely be on the agenda.

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