Vladimir Putin received Bashar al-Assad on September 13 in Moscow. During this meeting, the Russian president noted that the government forces controlled “90% of the territory” of the country and regretted the foreign interference in Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the presence of foreign forces in Syria and hailed the “considerable damage” done to rebels and jihadists, by receiving Bashar al-Assad in Russia on September 13, according to the Kremlin.
During this rare one-to-one meeting between the two men, the Russian president considered that the “terrorists [avaient] suffered considerable damage ”in Syria, where government forces control“ 90% of the territory ”. He said, however, that Syria’s “main problem” remained foreign interference on its soil.
“Foreign armed forces are still present in parts of the country without the authorization of the United Nations and your government. Obviously, this goes against international law and does not allow you to make the greatest efforts to consolidate and reestablish the country at a rate that would be possible if the entire territory were controlled by the legitimate government ” , estimated Vladimir Putin.
The Russian president also assured that Bashar al-Assad, recently re-elected with 95.1% of the vote, was doing “a lot” to “establish a dialogue with [ses] political adversaries ”.
Bashar al-Assad welcomes joint efforts of Russia and Syria to liberate occupied territories
Bashar al-Assad praised him the “significant results obtained by Russia and Syria in the liberation of the territories occupied by the combatants and in the destruction of terrorism”, according to the transcription in Russian of his remarks by the Kremlin.
He acknowledged, however, that the “political processes” undertaken to end the war in Syria “[s’étaient] arrested ”. He attributed this judgment, in particular, to “the destructive influence” of “certain States”.
“Some states have imposed sanctions on the Syrian people, which can be characterized as anti-human, anti-state and illegitimate,” he added.
Russia intervened militarily in Syria in 2015, allowing Bashar al-Assad’s forces to regain most of the territory lost to rebels and jihadists. Moscow has military bases there.
Several rounds of UN-sponsored talks have failed to stem the violence in Syria, which has claimed an estimated 500,000 lives and displaced millions since the conflict began in 2011.