Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in Sochi ahead of talks on Wednesday with leaders from Turkey and Iran aimed at re-booting the peace process in the conflict-torn country.
The Kremlin said Monday’s meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi came during a working visit by Assad to Russia.
Putin praised Assad for fighting terrorism, which he predicted would suffer an “inevitable” defeat in Syria, the Kremlin said.
“It is in our interest to advance the political process… we don’t want to look back and we are ready for dialogue with all those who want to come up with a political settlement,” Assad said in translated comments.
Putin said he would consult world leaders, including US president Donald Trump, on his talks with Assad. Putin’s telephone talks with Trump are due on Tuesday, the Kremlin said.
On Wednesday, the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran will meet for the first of a series of summits to bring peace in Syria, where government forces now have an upper hand over foreign-backed militants.
Putin will host Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani in Sochi ahead of parallel UN-led talks in Geneva set for November 28.