Syria and Russia disclosed Tuesday a meeting between President Bashar al-Assad and President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, saying the leaders discussed the need to focus on a political resolution for the Syrian conflict.
Reports from the Kremlin and Syria’s SANA news agency said Putin described military operations in Syria as nearing an end and congratulated Assad on a successful fight against terrorists.
Assad, who according to Russian media was in Sochi for about four hours Monday, said he believes the state of the war allows leaders to expect progress on the political front.
The Syrian leader was last in Russia two years ago just as Russian forces launched military operations in Syria that helped prop up his forces.
The Kremlin said Putin planned to further discuss the issues with U.S. President Donald Trump and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Putin is also set to host Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for a summit Wednesday in Sochi that will also focus on the Syrian peace process.
Those three countries have cooperated in several rounds of talks in Astana, Kazakhstan that produced agreements to set up four “de-escalation zones” within Syria.
Separate U.N.-led peace talks are scheduled for November 28 in Geneva.