Russian defense minister hands to Assad message from Putin

Russian defense minister hands to Assad message from Putin


Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled to Syria on March 19 where he handed a message from President Vladimir Putin to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, the defense ministry said.

The meeting came one day after the military chiefs of staff of Syria, Iraq and Iran met in Damascus to discuss coordination between their forces

The Russian Defense Ministry said that during the visit, Shoigu and Assad "discussed the issues related to fighting international terrorism along with various aspects of Mideast security and post-conflict settlement."

It said the talks also focused on efforts to help Syrian refugees return and to deliver humanitarian assistance.

Russia's defense minister has visited Damascus to deliver a letter from President Vladimir Putin to Assad.

During the meeting, Assad said coordination between Moscow and Damascus was a key factor behind victories over ISIL and Al-Qaeda-linked groups, the official SANA news agency reported.   

Shoigu also said Western nations have sought to "hamper positive changes in Syria and create new obstacles for ending the crisis."

"With Russia's support, a significant success in the fight against terrorism has been achieved," he stressed.    

"The main thing is that we were able to save the Syrian state and create conditions for the return of peaceful life," he added.