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President Putin's Visit to Syria Aims to Activate Political Process

 Russia that has helped Syria in driving ISIS terrorists out of the country will now focus on the political process in order to end the war that started in 2011.

The Russian forces have started to withdraw from Syria upon the orders of President Vladimir Putin, who visited Syria yesterday and held talks with President Bashar al-Assad at Hmeimim airbase in Lattakia province.

The visit paid by President Putin to the airbase was very important and it raised the morale of the Russian troops in Syria, according to Deputy Director of the CIS Countries Institute in Moscow, Dr. Vladimir Yevseyev, who told Syriatimes e-newspaper that the Russian Federation will press ahead with supporting Syria to reach a peaceful solution and end the ongoing war in the country.

 For Russia’s President Vladimir Putin it is very important to begin peaceful process in Syria. So it has been necessary to have consultations with President Al-Assad and the Turkish president on ways to find a solution that is acceptable to all parties, he said indicating that the Russian President went to Turkey after his visit to Syria.

However, for the Syrian Member of Parliament Dr. Nora Arissian, the Russian President’s visit to Syria is a coronation of military victory and a declaration of the beginning of activating political action and peaceful solution.

“President Bashar al-Assad said that President Putin’s visit to Syria is an opportunity to review the second stage of fighting terrorism and the political process in Syria,” the MP told the ST, affirming that the situation has completely changed in Syria after the major victories achieved by Syrian Arab army and Russian forces.

Despite these victories, the situation is still difficult is some areas in Syria, including Hama, Idlib and the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus, according to Dr. Yevseyev, who is a Lieutenant Colonel in reserve.

‘Idlib’ is difficult question

He made it clear that one side (Russia) wants to find peaceful solution to the situation in Idlib and to empty it from ‘radicals’, while the other side (Turkey) wants others to understand the Turkish interests in the territories. “It is very difficult to solve this question. Actually, Turkey wants to attack Efrin area in Aleppo countryside but Russia tries to stop it.”

“If Russian and Turkish presidents reach a compromise on Idlib, the Russian-Turkish-Iranian military cooperation will continue in order to empty the area from radicals,” the Russian officer added, asserting the need to solve the problem of Idlib in the forthcoming Astana talks due to be held by the end of this month.

Astana talks

He hoped that Astana talks will deal with how to open a congress for the Syrian national dialogue in Sochi and to discuss all details in order to help end the war in Syria.

On her part, Dr. Arissian pointed out that the participants in the forthcoming Astana talks plan to discuss the situation in the de-escalation zones and to reach a joint statement about humanitarian work to remove mines.

“We hope that Turkey will abide by its commitments related to the de-escalation zones, especially in the light of recent military developments. We also hope that the other parties will abide by the cessation of hostilities in new areas and will resolve undone files,” she said.

The MP underlined that Syria welcomes any initiative that stops the shedding of Syrian blood and leads to peace in Syria.

In September 2015, Russia started a military campaign in Syria against terrorists at an official request made by Syrian government.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour