Russian Federation welcomes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's decision to send a delegation to the United Nations to set up the constitutional committee, President Vladimir Putin said at talks with the Syrian leader on Thursday.
"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 a transcript of the May 17 meeting released by the Kremlin.
The Russian President said military success in Syria allows a large-scale political process leading to withdraw of foreign forces and reconstruction of country. "I have always said, and now I repeat once again, that we always enthusiastically support the political process, which should go hand in hand with the fight against terrorism", Assad said.
Russian Federation has been one of Assad's most critical allies throughout the ongoing civil war in Syria.
GETTYSyria has been embroiled in a complicated multi-sided civil war
"And of course, the next task is economic recovery and humanitarian assistance to the people who found themselves in a hard situation", the Russian president said. Moscow launched an air campaign on behalf of Assad's forces in 2015 that tipped the conflict in his favor. He also visited Putin in Moscow in October 2015, soon after Russian Federation launched its military operation in Syria.
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.
Assad, in turn, congratulated Putin on his re-election in March and reported "many positive changes" in Syria, including the reduction of territory controlled by insurgents and the return of "hundreds of thousands of Syrians" displaced by the conflict.