Putin: Joint efforts must be exerted to push ahead with political settlement in Syria
Russian President Vladimir Putin said it is important to exert joint efforts for pushing ahead with the political settlement to the crisis in Syria.
Speaking at a joint press conference on Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Moscow, Putin said that the joint efforts must be exerted in the framework of the political tracks of Geneva and Astana peace process.
“Despite intricate external political circumstances and sticking points over several foreign files, Russia and Germany consider that it is important and useful to maintain periodical contacts between the two sides,” he said.
The Russian president said that the crisis in Syria was on the agenda during bilateral talks. “We discussed the crisis in Syria and affirmed that it is important to jointly contribute to the political settlement on the basis of Geneva and Astana tracks, not to mention work to stabilize the situation and deliver humanitarian aid to the Syrian population.”
“If Europe wants people to return to their homes, it needs to help Syria rebuild and scrap restrictions and sanctions against it,” Putin said, indicating that large numbers of displaced Syrians have already returned to areas the Syrian army liberated from terrorists.
He emphasized the need to provide ‘depoliticized’ humanitarian assistance to Syria and building the Syrian economy which he said should be conducted in collaboration with the Syrian legitimate government.
Germany is genuinely ready to take part in building the economic and social infrastructures in Syria, said the Russian president.
The German Chancellor, for her part, said Russian-German cooperation must “put aside major differences,” calling for devising a joint plan for a political settlement in Syria.
“We have discussed Syria and intensively exchanged views. In this regard, I believe that the ongoing process under the UN auspice is an opportunity that must be seized,” she added, voicing support for the efforts of the UN special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.