Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has congratulated his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for winning a fourth term through Sunday’s presidential election, ascribing Putin’s victory to his "outstanding performance."
Sending a message to Putin on Monday, Syria’s President said, "The Russian people's exceptional trust in you is a natural outcome of your outstanding national performance."
Pointing to Russia’s support for Syrian forces during their fight against terrorists in recent years, the Syrian chief executive thanked Russia for his contribution to eliminating terrorists in the war-ravaged country.
Since September 2015, Russia has been carrying out airstrikes in support of Syria’s ground troops and has helped them recapture swathes of territory from Takfiri terrorists.
"The Russian Federation's command stood against terrorism in word and in deed, and the Syrian army is grateful for your contribution to eliminating terrorist forces across most Syrian territory," Assad said.
Assad added that Russian people trusted Putin because of his “distinguished patriotic performance and serving the Russian Federation’s interests with the utmost competence and faithfulness.”
According to Russia’s central election commission, Putin won 76.67% of the vote after 99.8 percent of ballots were counted. No serious complaints about violations have been registered.
Putin's new election win will extend his total time in office to nearly a quarter of a century, until 2024. He won election on the promise to use his new term to beef up Russia's defense capability against the West and to raise living standards.
There were almost 109 million eligible voters inside Russia, with 94,500 polling stations across the country. An additional 1.8 million voters were abroad, and 369 polling stations were based overseas.
Assad’s message came after several leaders of Asian and Latin American states extended congratulations to Putin over his landslide re-election as Russian president, while Western leaders mostly remained tight-lipped.