MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday was hosting Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for talks as the Kremlin seeks to mend ties between Damascus and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The meeting follows the surprise announcement last week of a Chinese-brokered restoration of diplomatic ties between the Middle East’s major rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Ties between Erdogan and Assad were severed after the outbreak of fighting in Syria and successful Kremlin mediation would give Putin diplomatic clout with Russia isolated internationally over the Ukraine conflict.
“We are in constant contact and our relations are developing,” the Russian leader told Assad at the televised start of their meeting, hailing “significant results in the fight against international terrorism”.
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