Bashar al-Assad has travelled to Russian Federation to meet Vladimir Putin

Bashar al-Assad has travelled to Russian Federation to meet Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a rare meeting with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on Thursday and said the "military success" in Syria allowed for a large-scale "political process" leading to the withdrawal of foreign forces and the reconstruction of the country.

Since fighting broke out in his country in 2011, Assad has traveled only rarely but has made three publicly-acknowledged visits to Russian Federation, each time for meetings with Putin.

Syria has been embroiled in a complicated, multi-sided civil war involving foreign powers, rebels and jihadists.

"Stability is improving, and all that opens the doors to the political process, which we started a while ago", Assad told Russian President Vladimir Putin according to the Kremlin's statement.

"I have always said, and I want to reiterate that we have always enthusiastically supported a political process that should proceed hand-in-hand with fight against terrorism", Assad for his part said.

The visit comes on the eve of a meeting in Sochi between Mr Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the first face-to-face talk of the year between the veteran leaders. "However, together with you and our other partners and friends, we will move firmly forward with the peace process", Assad was quoted as saying.

Bashar al-Assad has travelled to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin
Putin, Assad hail achievements in Syria

Meanwhile, Assad said that many positive changes have taken place as the areas under the control of terrorists arena in Syria have become smaller. Russian Federation says it never targets civilian areas.

Putin also congratulated Assad on the "successes of the Syrian government's army in the fight against terrorist groups".

"The two parties have noted the necessity to create additional conditions for the resumption of full-format political process in Syria".

Assad was making his second visit to see Putin in Sochi.

For its part, Russia's Kremlin manifested that Assad had expressed his willingness to Putin to start a political compromise to solve the Syrian issue, following a meeting with Russian defense and foreign ministers.

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