Russia, Syria can start work to rebuild Syrian economy, says Putin

Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali in Moscow Russia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin are likely to focus on pressing global and regional issues, including impact of the USA withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, during their informal summit in the Russian city of Sochi on Monday.

The negotiations were successful, Putin praised and congratulated Assad with the Syrian army's successes in the fight against terrorists.

"Of course, after this military success, additional conditions have been created to restart a full-format political process", he said at talks with Assad on Thursday.

The two presidents last met in December at a Russian military air base in Syria's coastal province of Latakia.

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"The next task, of course, the economic recovery and humanitarian aid for those people in a hard situation", Mr Putin added.

Observers believed Assad's visit to Sochi proved the support provided from Moscow to the Syrian regime, and deemed a Russian attempt to stop the military escalation between Damascus and Tel Aviv. The UN has hosted several rounds of peace talks in Geneva that have made no progress toward ending the conflict.

In a statement from the Syrian presidency, Assad added on Thursday "we have evaluated the political process" and will select candidates for a constitutional committee, a suggestion proposed in January at a summit in Sochi, that will work with the United Nations.

"Stability is growing, and all this opens the door to a political process that we started some time ago", he said.

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Assad assured that the country returns to stability and it promotes the political process begun earlier. He thanked the Russian military for playing an important role in the fight.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Western attacks in the country removed any moral obstacle to arming 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.

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