Vladimir Putin calls for 'political process' on Syria

Vladimir Putin calls for 'political process' on Syria

The situation in Syria is now favorable for the political process, Russia's president said late Thursday.

"The Syrian president has made the decision to send his part of a delegation to form the Constitutional Committee that is to work on Syria's constitutional law".

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.

"With the start of the political process in its most active phase, foreign armed forces will withdraw from Syrian territory", Mr Putin said, without specifying which foreign forces.

"Much has also been done within the framework of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in Sochi". "Now, we can make next moves jointly with you".

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

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

Since fighting broke out in Syria in 2011, the Syrian president has traveled three times to Russian Federation for talks with Putin - visits that underscored Moscow's status as Assad's chief backer.

A transcript of Thursday's meeting released by the Kremlin quoted Assad as saying that Syria is making progress in fighting "terrorism", which "opens the door to the political process".

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to the UN.

The Astana peace talks were launched on January 23-24, 2017, with the aim of putting an end to violence and improving the humanitarian situation in war-torn Syria.

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