Moscow, SANA – Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the need for the cessation of combat operations across the entirety of Syria and for launching political dialogue.
In an annual press conference held on Friday in Moscow, Putin said that “the next goal in Syria is a nationwide ceasefire and political settlement,” adding that Moscow had suggested that Kazakhstan hosts peace talks on the matter, noting that President Bashar al-Assad has agreed to this.
Putin said that the cooperation between Turkey, Iran, and Russia has made possible the resolution of the situation in Aleppo, which was achieved without military operations and via corridors that allowed the evacuation of tens of thousands of civilians and militants.
“This couldn’t have happened without the active work of the Turkish leadership, the Turkish president, the president of Iran and the entire Iranian leadership. We contributed to it actively too. And of course this couldn’t have happened without the goodwill and work of Syrian President al-Assad and his people,” he said.
Earlier today, Putin described the liberation of Aleppo as a major step towards normalization of the situation in Syria and in the region on the whole.
“Liberation of Aleppo from radical elements is an essential component of a full normalization in Syria, and I hope in the region on the whole,” he said at a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, adding that ceasefire in all Syria’s territory should be next step in crisis resolution.
“We and our colleagues from Iran and Turkey, and of course the Syrian leadership, alongside other regional nations, or all the interested states, should continue the work to reach a final truce,” President Putin said.
“Everything possible should be done so that combat activities can be halted within Syria,” he stressed, adding “anyhow, we will strive towards this.”
For his part, Shoigu said that work is underway to return civilians to their homes in Aleppo, as Syrian and Russian teams are repairing and rehabilitating electricity and water networks, with the Minister criticizing the international organizations’ delaying of sending aid to Aleppo.
Shoigu briefed Putin in detail about the liberation of Aleppo and the removal of terrorists from the eastern neighborhoods, explaining that this was carried out in two stages: the first involved liberating around 82 square kilometers and opening 7 corridors through which 119,000 people existed, in addition to 9,000 militants turning in their weapons, while the second stage involved liberarting the southern part of the city and removing the remaning terrorists and their families from the area.
H. Said / Hazem Sabbagh