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Putin’s envoy, Assad hold talks on terror fight, peace process in Damascus

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on January 11, 2018 shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (C-R) meeting with Russia’s special presidential envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev (C-L) in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s point man has met with Syrian President Assad for talks on counterterrorism fight and the Arab country’s path towards peace and reconstruction.

Assad received Alexander Lavrentiev in Damascus on Thursday, where the two sides discussed bilateral anti-terror cooperation, the peace process between the Syrian government and opposition in the Kazakh capital of Astana and the upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, the official SANA news agency reported.

At the request of Damascus, Russia has been providing airpower to the Syrian army’s ground operations against terrorists.

The support, alongside Iranian military advisory assistance, enabled Syria to liberate all the territories captured by the Takfiri Daesh terrorists and reverse many militant gains across the country.

Russia, together with Iran and Turkey, has been mediating the Astana peace process aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria.

As part of the Astana format, the Russian resort city of Sochi is to host a congress towards the end of January to pave the way for constitutional reforms in Syria.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) shows the way to his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad during a meeting in Sochi on November 20, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

During Thursday’s talks, Assad and Lavrentiev agreed that the Sochi event’s potential outcomes had to “meet the aspirations of the Syrian people in preserving their homeland and restoring security and stability to its territory,” SANA said.

Assad said the cooperation among Syria and its allies, including Russia, against terrorism was a “decisive factor in foiling the hegemony and division plots put by the West and its tools against Syria and the region.”

Lavrentiev, for his part, said Moscow would keep up its support for the Syrian nation in all areas, adding that various economic sectors of Russia are ready to actively participate in the reconstruction process of Syria.

The senior Russian official also said his country would stand by Syria in its anti-terrorism battles and efforts to find a peaceful way of the crisis.

In November, Putin hosted Assad in Sochi, for talks at which the two leaders agreed that the focus in the Syria conflict was now switching from military operations to the search for a political solution.

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