In his message, Mr Putin noted the high level of cooperation that Russia and Syria have achieved in different areas – cooperation that is developing in accordance with the outlines set during Mr Asad’s state visit to Russia in January. Mr Putin also said that he would continue to oversee the implementation of the agreements reached between the two countries on political, trade and economic cooperation and relations in other key areas.
In the context of Syria’s principled position regarding the situation in Chechnya – a position of firmly condemning terrorism and not attempting to use the ‘Chechen issue’ to drive a wedge between Russia and the Muslim world – Mr Putin noted in his message that, “despite the remaining difficulties linked above all to the bandit actions of terrorist groups, the situation in Chechnya has undergone a turnaround and has an overall positive dynamics. This can be seen in the fact that it is the Chechen law enforcement agencies themselves that are now increasingly responsible for security in the region, economic and social recovery is moving ahead, and people’s cultural and spiritual life is undergoing a revival”.
The President also noted the particular significance of the parliamentary election in Chechnya that has been set for November 27. Mr Putin said that this election, which will be held on a multiparty basis in complete accordance with Russian law, the laws of the Republic of Chechnya and international democratic standards, will become an important milestone in stabilising the situation in the republic.