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Putin And Assad Hold Video Conference: Refugees, Reconstruction And Terrorism

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Putin And Assad Hold Video Conference: Refugees, Reconstruction And Terrorism

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On November 9th, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a video conference meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

During the meeting, the two leaders spoke about several things:

  • Russia continues to make efforts to normalize the situation in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a videoconference meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“Russia continues to make active efforts to promote a long-term settlement in the Syrian Republic, to restore its sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity,” Putin said.

This is a typical statement, and it is obviously true, since Russian patrols and specialists continue operating.

  • Putin assured Assad that said that the task of post-conflict reconstruction of the SAR is of great importance.

“The task of post-conflict reconstruction of Syria is of fundamental importance at this stage, and first of all, the return home of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons. As you know, this is one of the key conditions of the fundamental UN Security Council Resolutions 2254,” Putin said.

There’s no change here, Russia still plans on assisting in the reconstruction.

  • He praised the effective work in the framework of the Astana format on Syria, noting that much has been achieved, the hotbed of terrorism has been eliminated.

“In this regard, one cannot fail to note the effective work carried out within the framework of the Astana format with the participation of our partners from Iran and Turkey. By joint efforts, we have managed to achieve a lot: the hotbed of international terrorism in Syria has actually been eliminated, the level of violence has been significantly reduced, and a peaceful life is being established. an inclusive political process is underway under the auspices of the United Nations,” Putin said.

This is quite a dubious statement, since it is quite obvious that the hotbed of terrorism isn’t eliminated, since Idlib is still quite infested with extremists.

  • Russia fully supports the holding of an international conference on refugees, the delegation from the Russian Federation will be one of the largest, Russian leader Vladimir Putin said during a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“Russia fully supports this event, actively assists in its preparation and holding. Representatives of many states, as well as the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, have confirmed their participation,” Putin said, referring to the International Conference on Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, which will take place on November 11 and 12 in Damascus.

It is questionable that the conference will lead to anything conclusive, without the actual issue of terrorists being solved.

Putin assured that Russia fully supports the holding of an international conference on refugees, the delegation from the Russian Federation will be one of the largest, Russian leader Vladimir Putin said during a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Putin said that now there is a good opportunity to ensure the massive return of refugees to Syria, but it is important that this process proceeds naturally, without coercion.

He specified that over 850 thousand Syrian citizens returned from abroad, and more than 1.3 million people returned to their places of permanent residence inside the country.

  • Outside Syria, there are more than 6.5 million refugees, most of them able-bodied citizens, and that is an issue.

“Today, unfortunately, there are more than 6.5 million refugees outside Syria. The vast majority of them are able-bodied citizens who could and should participate in the reconstruction of their country,” Putin said.

“In addition, their return meets the internal interests of the host states, primarily the neighbors of Syria. Since the burden on them is quite serious, they have to bear significant costs for the temporary accommodation and provision of the Syrians,” the Russian president added.

In response, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the following:

“I am delighted to host this videoconference with you today, especially in the run-up to the International Conference on Refugees, which will be convened in Damascus in the coming days.

Thank you for your attention to this problem – the problem of refugees. This is a humanitarian problem, but many countries around the world are trying to politicize it. But this is a national problem, and all the authorities in Syria are interested in solving it. This is one of the main priorities of our government in the next period, especially after a significant part of the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic was liberated and we were able to eradicate terrorism in these territories.

Naturally, this issue is a priority, but apart from this issue, we would naturally like to discuss other issues.

As you know, Mr. President, many refugees, many IDPs have fled for fear of terrorism; others fled because infrastructure was destroyed and they lost their jobs.

We continue to maintain direct contacts with a large part of the states in which these refugees live. We know that they are trying to return to the country. They are very eager to return, especially after Syria has provided certain perks that stimulate the return process.

However, the problem is that terrorism remains in some regions of our country, along with the fact that there is an economic blockade against Syria and a blockade against its people – this does not help us to provide for the primary needs of Syrian refugees. Schools are closed and destroyed, and in principle it is difficult to provide priority services.

In addition, refugees who return must have certain horizons in front of them for a normal life, and the problem is that the embargo imposed by the West presents a huge difficulty in the implementation of these tasks.

We pin great hopes on this conference, we hope that the results will be practical. The Syrians are not only ready, but also with great enthusiasm want to implement practical agreements in the coming months immediately after the conference. And we know that most of the refugees support the Syrian government, but, unfortunately, now the conditions do not allow them to return.

We appreciate the interest of other states to participate in this conference. We hope that there will be an opportunity to ease the current economic embargo or break it through joint efforts in order to create suitable conditions for the return of refugees.

Once again, Mr. President, I thank you for this opportunity to contact you, thank you for the attention that you and the Russian Federation, the leadership of the Russian Federation devote to this issue and, despite all the international pressure on international sanctions against this conference, you are helping us organize it.

We are confident that this will be successful, and are focused on further cooperation with the Russian Federation and other interested states on this issue. And we are sure that, by analogy with the results of World War II, the truth is ours and we will be able to defend it.

Thank you once again for supporting Damascus, supporting the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic in overcoming this crisis, in post-conflict reconstruction and the return of refugees.”

The refugees were the main topic of discussion, with Assad saying that great parts of Syria were liberated from terrorist presence, but that the job was not yet completed.

“However, the problem is that terrorism remains in some regions of our country, along with the fact that there is an economic blockade against Syria and a blockade against its people – this does not help us to provide for the primary needs of Syrian refugees. Schools are closed and destroyed, and in principle it is difficult to provide priority services.”

As such, the fight against terrorism will continue, and true return of refugees, as well as reconstruction can begin then, according to Assad.

Both leaders had a positive discussion that appeared focused mostly on humanitarian issues, judging by the press releases.

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