Russia, Syria can start work to rebuild Syrian economy, says Putin

Bashar al-Assad has travelled to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin

Bashar al-Assad has travelled to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin

A transcript of the 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". The UN has hosted several rounds of peace talks in Geneva that have made no progress towards ending the conflict.

The Russian president said the terrorists have laid down their arms in key locations in Syria, allowing for the restoration of Syrian infrastructure.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the meeting, which had not been announced in advance, took place on Thursday.

Russian Federation said it intervened militarily in Syria to defeat violent Islamist extremists who had taken control over parts of the country and were launching bomb and gun attacks in other parts of the world.

They said issues on the table may include economic impact on India and Russian Federation in the wake of the United States withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the situation in Afghanistan, Syria, threat of terrorism and matters relating to upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS summits.

Bashar al-Assad has travelled to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin
Putin, Assad hail achievements in Syria

According to Putin, "much has already been done within the Astana process".

Russian Federation is a key ally of Assad and has provided support which has allowed the Syrian regime to make territorial gains in recent months against rebels. Moscow launched an air campaign on behalf of Assad's forces in 2015 that tipped the conflict in his favor.

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.

Syria's conflict began with mass protests against the Assad family's decades-long rule. More than 450,000 people have been killed and 11 million have been displaced from their homes. The opposition and its Western backers have demanded he step aside as part of a political transition, something the Syrian government has adamantly rejected.

Militant shot dead in attack on police headquarters in Indonesia's Riau province
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article stated that at least three men had attacked the Riau Police headquarters. Police in Indonesia have raided several houses and killed several people in a nationwide hunt for more possible bombers.

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