Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday hailed the defeat of ISIS terrorists in Syria during a visit to the war-torn country and also announced plans to withdraw a “significant part” of Russia’s troop presence in Syria.
“The fact that we defeated ISIS, one of the main terrorist groups, here in Syria is extremely important for Syria, Russia, and the entire world,” Putin said, according to a transcript provided by his office. Read more on CNBC
Vladimir Putin commended the results of the counterterrorism operations in Syria. “This is important for both Syria and Russia, as well as for the rest of the world,” the Russian President said.
He also expressed readiness to work with Turkey and Iran to help restore peace in Syria.
President of Syria Bashar al-Assad (re-translated): It is good to see you, Mr President.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I believe I promised that I would come. It is good that we are meeting in such circumstances where we have things to celebrate. I am referring to the outcome of our joint work.
Bashar al-Assad: Of course, these achievements and victories are very important to us. The very theme of our meeting today – the destruction of ISIS militants – is important for the entire world and makes it clear to the entire world that the states that are willing to fight ISIS, the very virus of radical terrorism, are up to the task.
For my part, I express my deep gratitude to you – on behalf of the people of the Syrian Arab Republic – for the role played by your Armed Forces.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
This is, indeed, a meaningful outcome of our joint work. True, the threat of terrorism remains high. But the fact that we defeated ISIS, one of the main terrorist groups, here in Syria is extremely important for Syria, Russia, and the entire world.
I hope that in conjunction with Iran and Turkey, as well as the countries contributing to the eradication of terrorism, we will go beyond just restoring peaceful life and put in place a political process to resolve the situation in Syria in general. We will manage to prepare for the Syrian National Congress, which we discussed in Sochi, and to launch the peaceful settlement process.
I will have an opportunity to discuss this with the President of Egypt in Cairo and a little later with the President of Turkey. We will contact you following these talks, and I will inform you in detail about our common plans for achieving a final settlement.
Bashar al-Assad: I believe your planned visits focus on further fighting and destroying international terrorism and, at the same time, beginning the process of a peaceful settlement in Syria.
The victories that have been achieved will affect not only our state, but also all our neighbouring states, so clearly the issues discussed in this format are important for the entire region.
Vladimir Putin: Exactly so, I agree.