Start of Russian-Syrian talks
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, I am very glad to see you in Moscow.
Thank you for accepting our invitation. We are in constant contact and our relations are progressing.
Owing to our joint efforts and the decisive contribution of the Russian Armed Forces, Syria has achieved tangible results in the fight against international terrorism. This is making it possible to stabilise the socioeconomic and domestic political situation.
However, the Syrian people have faced another very serious problem, a disastrous earthquake. Of course, this is aggravating the situation. We are trying to support you, as true friends do. As you know, our representatives from both the Emergencies Ministry and the Armed Forces located in Syria are also contributing to the earthquake relief efforts.
However, despite everything, our relations are progressing, including the economy. Last year, we recorded a 7 percent increase in trade. Next year, we will celebrate the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries.
I suggest dividing our work today into two parts – first with our colleagues from both countries, and then we can talk privately during a working breakfast. We have every opportunity to discuss practically all important issues related to our cooperation.
I am very happy to see you. Welcome.
President of Syria Bashar al-Assad (retranslated): Thank you, Mr President.
I am also very happy to be in Moscow now and have an opportunity to discuss with you various issues that we are facing.
Indeed, different officials from both sides keep meeting all the time. But due to various changes underway in the international arena, we probably should meet more and more often to understand how we will proceed.
First, I would like to thank you and all ministries of the Russian Federation, which operated via the Emergencies Ministry, helping us to cope with the aftermath of the earthquake. I would also like to thank the Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation, its crews and service personnel that took a direct part in recovering the wounded from collapsed buildings, which really helped reduce the number of victims and mitigate the damage from the earthquake.
I would also like to convey to you the gratitude of the Syrian people for your staunch position, for the staunch position of the Russian Federation in the international arena. This position proceeds from the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic and the integrity of its lands. It is necessary to repel terror and oppose all foreign ground forces that are there illegally. Although Russia is also engaged in the special operation now, its position is the same – it has not changed it.
I would like to use this opportunity, as this is my first visit since the start of the special operation in Ukraine, to repeat that Syria supports this special operation against neo-Nazis and their predecessors. I am referring to the new and old Nazis because the West accepted the old Nazis in the past and has now started supporting the new ones. Our position is based not only on our friendship and devotion. Our position proceeds from the need to stabilize the world. Otherwise, it is in for some big thunder.
I am very pleased about the results of the meetings between our different ministries during the past three days. I believe these were the best meetings in the past few years. I think the results we have achieved this time will help us further develop our financial and economic ties in practical terms. These are not mere slogans.
Mr President, I would like to thank you for the welcome again. I will repeat and emphasise that this visit will add a new dimension to the future of Syrian-Russian relations. This visit will help us achieve real results that will underwrite our future cooperation.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you. Shukran.