Damascus, SANA – President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday received the special envoy for the Russian President, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, and the accompanying delegation.
Bogdanov relayed an oral message from Russian President Vladimir Putin on bilateral relations, the standing cooperation between the two friendly countries, and Russia’s continuing support for the Syrian people in the face of the vicious terrorist attack targeting it.
The Russian envoy briefed President al-Assad on the meetings he held recently as part of Russia’s efforts to create suitable conditions to put an end to terrorism in Syria and launch a comprehensive inter-Syrian dialogue away from any foreign interference, saying that Moscow supports the Syrian government’s efforts in carrying out national reconciliations as a basic step towards reaching a solution.
President al-Assad asserted that Russia always stood on the Syrian people’s side, and that it proved its support for peoples’ right to self-determination and its respect for states’ sovereignty and international law, saying that Syria is confident that any Russian political action will be based on these principles, therefore Syria deals in a positive manner with the efforts exerted by Russia to find a solution for the crisis.
The two sides agreed that the success of any effort to resolve the crisis in Syria requires diligent work in combating terrorism and extremism by having the international community exercise real pressure on the countries that support terrorism and take deterrent actions against them.
They also affirmed the need to continue exchanging opinions and coordinating to serve the interests of the two countries’ people and to restore stability to Syria and all the region’s countries.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban, Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mikdad, and the Russian Ambassador in Damascus.
Answering journalists’ questions on his talks with President al-Assad, Bogdanov said “We always discuss bilateral relations, the situation between the two sides, and strengthening future relations between the two countries and our peoples.
“We also discussed the crisis in Syria, the political solution, and how we can carry it out as soon as possible. Our main and most important mission is combating terrorism which poses a threat to everyone.”
On whether there was cooperation between the US and Russia on this regard, Bogdanov added “we are in contact with the US partners, but before that, there should be cooperation with the Syrian government inside and abroad… If there is a desire at the Syrians to meet in Moscow, then we will discuss this point with the US side and others.”
On his visit to Turkey and the meeting with the Syrian opposition there, Bogdanov said “I went through Turkey and met Head of the Coalition Hadi al-Bahra.. And we discussed the same points and asked the Syrians to meet in Moscow and find a political solution to the crisis in Syria.”
If there is a possibility to reach a solution between the Syrian government and the gunmen, Bogdanov added “we believe there should be a political solution and we have to try.”
Hazem Sabbagh/ Mazen Eyon