Moscow, SANA -Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed on Thursday that his country’s priority is to enhance the capabilities of the Syrian Arab Army and continue its support in the fight against terrorism.
“We intend to build a peaceful political process involving all parties to the conflict. Our short-term goal is to enhance the Syrian army’s fighting capacity and retreat to our Hmeimim and Tartous bases, leaving the Syrian troops to effectively achieve their aims,” Putin said during his annual televised Q&A session.
“If the need arises to, say, use warplanes, we could support them in their fight against terrorist organizations. That is what our plans are,” he added.
Putin: Russia needs more international cooperation to resolve crisis in Syria
Putin affirmed that Russia needs more international cooperation to resolve the crisis in Syria, noting that he held talks with President Bashar al-Assad on the reforms in Syria before Russia started it’s aerial operation in the country.
Putin told US filmmaker Oliver Stone in a third part of the interview broadcast by the Showtime television network that Moscow held a frank dialogue with Syrian President Bashar Assad prior to joining military action in Syria on the need to adopt radical and profound reforms in the country.
“It turned out that President al-Assad himself understands many problems, he is not only ready for dialogue with the opposition, including even with the armed opposition, but is ready to work with them on a new constitution,” Putin said.
“He is even willing to accept that the future possible early presidential elections will be put under strict and tough international control,” Putin said.
Putin stressed that Russia really needs the support of the United States, and some countries in the region to resolve the crisis in Syria, affirming the importance of dialogue to preserve the territorial integrity of the country.