Vladimir Putin to hold talks with Syria’s Assad on Wednesday: Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with workers as he visits an aviation factory in the east Siberian city of Ulan-Ude on March 14, 2023.— AFP

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad in Moscow on Wednesday, the Kremlin said.

“Topical issues of further development of Russian-Syrian cooperation in the political, trade, economic and humanitarian spheres, as well as prospects for a comprehensive settlement of the situation in and around Syria, will be discussed,” the Kremlin said in a statement on Tuesday.

Assad’s office said he had arrived in Moscow for an official visit during which he would meet with Putin.

In a statement, it said that the Syrian president had been greeted on arrival by Putin’s special representative Mikhail Bogdanov and the Russian ambassador to Damascus Alexander Yefimov.

Assad was accompanied by a “large ministerial delegation”, said the Syrian presidency statement.

Damascus is a staunch ally of Moscow which intervened in the Syrian conflict in 2015 by launching air strikes to support the government’s struggling forces.

The Syrian civil war has killed around half a million people and displaced millions more since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

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