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PRESS RELEASE


Syrian President Assad Visits President Putin in Moscow

FLASH: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTED THAT ON FRIDAY, OCT. 23, JOHN KERRY, SERGEI LAVROV, AND DIPLOMATS FROM TURKEY AND SAUDI ARABIA WILL MEET FACE TO FACE IN VIENNA.

Oct. 21, 2015 (EIRNS)—Russian President Putin welcomed Syrian President Assad to Moscow yesterday, who had come at President Putin’s request.

Officially welcoming Assad, Putin said, "We took the decision upon your request to provide effective aid to the Syrian people in fighting international terrorists who have unleashed a genuine war against Syria. The Syrian people have been practically alone in putting up resistance and fighting these international terrorists for several years now... [who are attempting to] bring whole swathes of territory in the Middle East under their control... This is a concern for many countries, and ... for Russia, too, given that sadly, people from the former Soviet Union, around 4,000 people at least, have taken up arms and are fighting on Syrian territory against the government forces. Of course, we cannot let these people gain combat experience and go through ideological indoctrination and then return to Russia."

Putin said that positive results in military operations will lay the basis for a long-term settlement in Syria, based on a political process that involves all political, ethnic, and religious groups... "Ultimately, it is the Syrian people who must have the deciding voice here." Russia, said Putin, wants to contribute to the military operations but also to the political process, in close contact with other countries.

President Assad responded by expressing "tremendous gratitude" to "the Russian leadership and people" for their help, all done within the framework of international law...

"If not for [Russia’s] actions and decisions, the terrorism... would have spread to even wider territories. Of course, we all know that any military action must be followed by political steps... Our common goal is to bring about the vision the Syrian people have of their own country’s future."

Military strikes are essential, because "we must fight terrorism," Assad said, and

"also because terrorism is a real obstacle on the road to reaching a political settlement. Of course, the entire nation wants to take part in deciding the country’s fate, and not just the government." http://en.kremlin.ru

Washington sources indicated that, prior to Assad’s arrival, Putin spoke by phone to Turkish President Recip Erdogan and to one of the three top leaders of Saudi Arabia (King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Nayef or Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Salman), to sound them out on proposals for a meeting of “interested parties” in the region to begin working on a diplomatic settlement.