Putin says he will talk to Trump following Assad meeting

Russian President Putin meets with Syrian President al Assad in Sochi

Russian state-owned TV reports that the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi ahead of a summit on Syrian peace talks.

Assad thanked Putin for Russia's help in fighting terrorism and maintaining Syria's territorial integrity, according to the transcript. "I think now the main thing is to move to political processes, and I am pleased to see your readiness to work with everyone willing to establish peace and find solutions".

It added that President Putin said that the meeting is aimed at coordination and consultation between the Syrian and Russian sides ahead of a Syria summit in Sochi on Thursday which will bring Putin together with the Iranian and Turkish presidents.

The meeting, according to the Kremlin, happened yesterday evening in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, where Putin has a residence.

"What is important now is the move into the political process in Syria and Russian Federation is working with all sides in this regard", Syria's state news agency SANA quoted Putin as saying. However, the Kremlin did not release information about Assad's visit until Tuesday.

The first was in October 2015, shortly after Russian Federation launched its military campaign in Syria to shore up Assad's forces.

For Monday's meeting in Sochi, Assad stayed on Russian soil for a total of four hours, RIA news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying. "It must be admitted that this operation allowed us to advance the political settlement in Syria".

Putin asked for Assad's "view of the political process", which, he said, "as we see it, should be sponsored by the United Nations".

It added that the Russian and Syrian presidents also emphasized the need to launch political processes in the country.

Assad's opponents, and Western governments, have accused Russian Federation of killing significant numbers of Syrian civilians with its air strikes, allegations Moscow denies.

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