Russian President Vladimir Putin met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Moscow on Monday, the Kremlin said early on Tuesday. The meeting was not announced beforehand.
A readout of the meeting said Putin congratulated Assad on his win in Syria’s presidential election.
He also said that foreign forces, which are being deployed in Syria without the United Nation’s decision, are a hindrance for the country’s consolidation.
“Terrorists had sustained a very serious damage, and Syrian government, headed by you, controls 90% of the territories,” Putin said, according to the Kremlin statement.
Russian support has helped Assad win back nearly all the territory lost to rebels who tried to overthrow him during the civil war that began in 2011.
Assad, whose last meeting in Moscow with Putin was in 2015, thanked the Russian leader for humanitarian aid to Syria and for his efforts to halt the “spread the terrorism”.
He lauded what he called a success of Russian and Syrian armies in “liberating occupied territories” of Syria.