Syrian President Bashar al-Assad held a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow yesterday, Wednesday 15 March 2023 during President Assad’s official visit to Moscow, the summit of two parts discussed top important issues relating to Syria, Russia, and the ongoing global shift of power.
The Syrian ministerial delegation accompanying President Assad held separate meetings with their Russian counterparts emphasizing the importance of implementing the previously signed agreements, and solidifying the foundations of the mutual cooperation between the two countries in the coming stage to the benefit of the people of Syria and Russia and to contribute to the world’s peace, security, and stability.
The following is a video report of the summit between the two presidents with the full transcript of the public exchange during the meeting:
President Vladimir Putin:
Your Excellency, the honorable President, I am very happy to see you here in Moscow, and we are grateful for accepting this invitation, and we are in constant contact, and we are witnessing the development of our relations, thanks to our joint efforts and the significant contribution of the Russian Armed Forces, tangible results have been achieved in the fight against international terrorism.
This provides an opportunity to achieve more stability in the internal as well as the social and economic situation in Syria.
Unfortunately, the Syrian people faced an additional problem, which is similar to the recent earthquake disaster, and this worsens the situation, and as you know, we, as sincere friends, do everything we can to help and relieve the suffering of the Syrian people, and we have provided this assistance at the level of the Russian Ministry of Emergencies and the Russian Armed Forces, as well as those who are present in Syria.
Despite all these difficulties, we are witnessing a development in our economic relations, and in the results of the past year, we recorded a 7% increase in the volume of trade exchange.
Next year, we will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
As for this agenda, I suggest that we separate it into two parts, the first part with the participation of colleagues from various ministries and agencies, and then the second part represented by a luncheon, where we exchange views face to face.
There is an opportunity for a detailed discussion of all topics of interest to both parties, and I am very happy to see you, Mr. President, welcome.
President Bashar Al-Assad:
Thank you, Mr. President, and I am happy today to be in Moscow and to meet to discuss many important files before our two countries.
It is true that meetings between officials do not stop at various levels, but the international changes that took place during the past year require us to meet and develop common perceptions for the next stage.
First of all, I would like to thank you and the Russian government, represented by the Ministry of Emergencies, for the great help that was provided during the earthquake that struck Syria last month.
And of course, thanks to the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Russian army, which contributed directly to saving the victims of this earthquake, which had a great impact in alleviating the suffering of the injured and in mitigating the effects of the earthquake on Syrian citizens.
I would like to convey the gratitude of the Syrian people to you and the Russian government for your firm positions on the war in Syria. These positions stem from the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and the sovereignty of its state, the rejection of terrorism, and the rejection of the presence of foreign forces on its territory.
Although Russia today is in a state of war, its positions are still the same and have not changed at all.
I want to take advantage of this first visit to me after the start of the war in Ukraine, to renew our firm position in support of the Russian position in this war against the new old Nazism, and I say old and new because this Nazism was supported by the West before World War II and embraced its leaders after the war, and now it continues to support it as before.
Our position today does not stem from the strong friendship between us, nor from gratitude for Russia’s stances towards us, but rather from the world’s need today to restore balance to it, otherwise, the world will go towards explosion and destruction.
I am very satisfied with the results of the meeting between the Syrian and Russian officials in the joint committee that took place during the past few days, which was one of the best meetings that took place during the past years. I believe that the results they reached this time will pave the way for a new phase of economic cooperation in which there are practical ideas and not just data.
Once again, I thank you, Mr. President, for your reception, and I assure you that this visit will pave the way for a new stage in Syrian-Russian relations at all levels, and will achieve real results that we can build on for the next stage between our two countries and peoples.
End of the transcript.
The Syrian Presidency offered the following official statement:
President Bashar al-Assad discussed with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, during a session of expanded talks, a wide range of political and economic files. The two leaders discussed bilateral relations, joint cooperation in all its forms, and recent developments in the regional and international arenas.
On the bilateral issue, the talks dealt with the strategic relations between the two countries, which are based on common principles, interests, and values that unite them, and work to strengthen these relations in the interest of the two peoples at a stage witnessing unprecedented transformations in the world.
The economic issue gained a wide area in the talks of Presidents al-Assad and Putin, where the discussion took place on expanding economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, and in-depth research on the basic files that were discussed in the follow-up meeting of the work of the joint Syrian-Russian governmental committee, which was held on the sidelines of the visit, chaired by the heads of the committee from both Syrian and Russian sides.
In the political matter, changes and developments taking place in the world were discussed, and the importance of continuing to build alliances and partnerships between countries that share common principles and interests so that they constitute an effective force that moves in the interest of their people and works to achieve security and economic stability in the face of Western policies based on spreading chaos and sabotage, and igniting wars with the aim of continuing in domination and serving its own narrow interests.
The two presidents discussed the Russian military operation in Ukraine, and President al-Assad renewed Syria’s position in support of Russia’s right to defend its national security, while President Putin considered that the Russian military operation is a battle for existence and that the West tried to destabilize Russia’s political and economic stability, but Russia was able to adapt to the above, and even achieved economic growth despite the war.
The presidential talks also dealt with regional initiatives supported by Moscow, where President al-Assad affirmed that Syria has always been with dialogue if it would lead to achieving the interests of the Syrian people and the unity and integrity of the Syrian lands and reach clear and specific results, foremost of which is the continuation of the fight against terrorism and the exit of the illegal foreign forces present on its territory.
It was also agreed on the importance of strengthening the existing cooperation between the two countries at the United Nations and all other international forums, with an emphasis on Syria appreciating Russia’s standing in the face of attempts to put pressure on Damascus through what the West calls the chemical weapons file in Syria.
Regionally, the two presidents affirmed their welcome to the announcement by Saudi Arabia and Iran to resume diplomatic relations between the two countries as a step that reflects positively on the region and the world.
At the end of the expanded talks session, Presidents al-Assad and Putin continued their closed-door talks, which ended with a lunch hosted by President Putin in honor of President al-Assad.
The expanded talks session included from the Syrian side the delegation accompanying President al-Assad, and from the Russian side Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yuri Ushakov, Assistant to the Russian President for Foreign Policy Issues, Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary in the Russian President’s Administration, Sergey Shoigu, Minister of Defense, Antoine Siluanov, Minister of Finance, and Eric Fayzulin, President The Russian side of the joint committee, Alexander Lavrentiev, the Russian President’s special envoy to Syria, and Alexander Yefimov, the Russian ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic.
On the sidelines of President Al-Assad’s official visit, bilateral talks were held between Foreign Minister Dr. Faisal Al-Miqdad and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, where they talked about the political paths proposed by Moscow and emphasized that any political path must achieve unity and integrity of the Syrian territories, stop supporting terrorism and the exit of the existing foreign forces. on Syrian territory.
Also, talks were held between the Minister of Defense, General Ali Abbas, and the Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, in which Shoigu offered his condolences to the victims of the earthquake that struck Syria, stressing the continuation of the Russian military institution in mobilizing all capabilities to contribute to helping those affected by the earthquake.
On the issue of military cooperation between the two countries, it was emphasized that the fight against terrorism in Syria will continue until the liberation of all Syrian lands.
End of the statement provided by the Syrian Presidency.
Separate meetings were held between the different ministers accompanying President Assad on his official visit and their Russian counterparts, among those is the meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries:
The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement: “Lavrov and Mikdad discussed during their meeting a number of regional and international issues that received special attention from both sides, the most important of which are the changes taking place in the Middle East along with Syria’s restoration of its rights in the League of Arab States and other topics,” quoting the Russian foreign minister Lavrov:
“We will continue to support this positive trend and positive feelings in the Arab world during the next ministerial meeting between the League of Arab States and Russia, which we plan to organize in the coming months.”
As per the statement, Lavrov added that “Russia, with the support of Syria and other Arab countries, has been working for many years to strengthen the concept of collective security in the Gulf region and adjacent areas, pointing out that there are many conflicts in the region, which have extended to a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa.”
On his part, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad “expressed gratitude for Russia’s effective help in dealing with the earthquake aftermath in Syria.”
The statement of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that Lavrov and Mekdad also pointed to coinciding assessments of Moscow and Damascus on the current state of international relations “as a global clash of forces, standing up for sovereignty and equality of all states, with the geopolitical hegemony of the West, which starts to lose its positions in the modern world”.
Russian Sputnik news agency, on its part, quoted the Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov just before the summit saying; “Russian-Syrian relations will be at the forefront of the topics of discussion, along with cooperation in the context of the reconstruction of Syria, with an emphasis on the absolute priority of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
A Syrian economic and trade ministerial delegation accompanying President Assad held talks in Moscow with Russian delegations discussing the bilateral cooperation in investments, industrial opportunities, and agricultural trade, especially with new investment laws in Syria introduced lately.
Important investment opportunities in Syria were also discussed in the energy sector, including power plants, oil and gas production, issues of completing a number of water resources and drinking water projects, by benefiting from the expertise of Russian companies operating in this field, in addition to discussing several documents and cooperation formulas that are to be signed soon, after that the final touches have been put on it by the concerned authorities and committees in the two countries and the necessary legal frameworks.
President Bashar al-Assad was interviewed by Russian media on the sideline of his official visit to Moscow, we will provide the details of it when it’s ready.
The emphasis put by President Assad and by the accompanying Syrian delegation on Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity to their Russian counterparts sends a clear signal in regards to the ongoing Russian attempts to pressure Syria into offering further concessions to the Turkish madman Erdogan, the embattled Turkish flip-flop who is facing growing opposition in his country for his dangerous military adventures, his connections and sponsorship of terrorist groups including Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria and in Iraq, and the plight of the massive Syrian refugees caused by his direct interference in Syria and the Turkish occupation of large areas in northern Syria.
Russian President Putin insists on helping his Turkish friend against all odds, the Syrian leadership has not ruled out its acceptance to meet with the Turks, but the Turks have to withdraw their illegal forces from Syria, the Turkish army, and its Al Qaeda proxy terrorist groups, this was supposed to be completed in early 2019 based on the Idlib agreement of late 2018 which was guaranteed by Russia and Iran. The least the Russians can do is to provide proper and tangible guarantees that the Turkish forces will withdraw completely from Syria in a given timeline and the undertaken of the Turkish regime to stop meddling in the internal affairs in Syria.
We are not sure how Russia will be able to provide such guarantees, after all, the Turkish madman Erdogan is a NATO leader and NATO leaders are not known for keeping their word or even adhering to signed international agreements, anywhere, the Russians would know better since they have experienced the NATO leaders’ insincerity in the Minsk accords covering the Donbas region formerly in Ukraine. Erdogan is not only a NATO leader but he’s also a Muslim Brotherhood, this cult has betrayed God and the Muslims around the world, do the Russians believe they will honor their word to them?
Let’s hope the official visit of President Bashar al-Assad to Moscow and the agreements reached will manage to break the blockade imposed on the Syrian people by the US-led cronies of the so-called ‘garden’ so that the Syrians can rebuild their country with the help of the friendly nations, the Syrians have bled a lot and sacrificed a lot during the past 12 years on behalf of the whole world.
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