Bashar Assad thanked Putin and all Russian people “for the efforts to defend Syria’s integrity and independence”.
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Bashar Assad in Sochi.
 
Putin congratulated Assad on the successful fight against terrorism and stressed that this fight in Syria is nearing completion.
 
“The threat of terrorism still remains in the world, and the Middle East and Syria are no exception. However, our main concern is almost resolved and obviously soon we will manage to overcome it,” said the Russian leader.
 
“Today our primary task is to make political settlement possible,” Vladimir Putin stressed.
 
Bashar Assad emphasized that the success has been made thanks to joint operations of the Russian forces and Syrian government army.
 
Russia helped to save Syria, he added.
 
“First of all, on behalf of entire Syrian people, I would like to express our gratitude for the ability to defend the integrity and independence of our country. This applies in particular to those structures of the state which provided us with assistance throughout all this time, such as the Russian Ministry of Defense. I also would like to express our gratitude to all Russian people, who always stand by us and support us as friendly people”, said Assad.
 
During the meeting, Vladimir Putin introduced Bashar Assad to senior officials of the Russian Defense Ministry and the General Staff.