Putin welcomes Assad to Moscow for talks to reaffirm mutual supportComments
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is in Moscow to meet with his top ally Russian President Vladimir Putin as the Kremlin steps up efforts to restore ties between Turkey and Syria.
This visit comes on the anniversary of the uprising-turned-civil war in Syria that has killed nearly half a million people and displaced half the country’s pre-war population.
Moscow has played a pivotal role in fighting back armed opposition groups trying to topple Assad’s government through its military support and has also aggressively backed Damascus against opponents at the United Nations.
The talks focused on rebuilding Syria after 12 years of civil war and on mending relations between Damascus and Russia's ally Turkey.
Vladimir Putin also offered further aid following Syria's recent earthquake:
"We, as true friends, try to support you. As you know, our units from the Emergency Ministry were there. Representatives from the Armed Forces stationed in Syria also contribute to overcoming the consequences of the earthquake."
Syria is one of the few powers to back Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and Assad confirmed his continuing support:
"I would like to seize the opportunity of my visit to Russia, just after the anniversary of the war in Ukraine, to reaffirm Syria's position on this war and against the new Nazism."
The Syrian, Turkish and Russian deputy foreign ministers, as well as a senior adviser to their Iranian counterpart, also held talks in Moscow on "counterterrorism efforts" in Syria.
The Syrian president's last public visit to Moscow was in September 2021, when he held talks with Putin.