Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met late Tuesday his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.
According to the Kremlin website, the Russian president said terrorism in the Middle East and the destabilization of the region represented a concern for many countries.
“This is a matter of concern for Russia too, given that sadly, people from the former Soviet Union, around 4,000 people at least, have taken up arms and are fighting on Syrian territory against the government forces,” said Putin. “Of course, we cannot let these people gain combat experience and go through ideological indoctrination and then return to Russia.”
“On the question of a settlement in Syria, our position is that positive results in military operations will lay the base for then working out a long-term settlement based on a political process that involves all political forces, ethnic and religious groups,” he added. “Ultimately, it is the Syrian people alone who must have the deciding voice here.”
Meanwhile, Bashar al-Assad expressed his gratitude towards Russia for its support.