21:56 GMT01 April 2020
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    Syrian President Bashar Assad expressed hope for a peaceful settlement of the country's political crisis during talks with Russian lawmakers.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Syrian President Bashar Assad said during a meeting with Russian lawmakers that he is positive on the possibility of a peaceful settlement of the political crisis in the country within the framework of the Geneva dialogue, Russian lawmaker Sergei Gavrilov told journalists Tuesday.

    “Syrian President Bashar Assad positively assesses the possibility of a peaceful settlement of the situation in Syria within the framework of the Geneva dialogue.”

    The meeting addressed Russian support in Syria's counterterrorist campaign, humanitarian deliveries to the population and the Arab republic's economic revival, he added.

    The meeting took place one day ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in Damascus and several other Syrian cities. Gavrilov stressed that the upcoming vote would confirm the continuity of legitimate Syrian leadership and contribute to talks between government and opposition delegates expected to resume on Wednesday in Geneva.

    The Russian lawmaker said Assad noted Russian President Vladimir Putin's popularity in Syria.

    In March, Assad said that Damascus would lean primarily on Russia, China and Iran in rebuilding the country after five years of destruction.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since March 2011, with government forces loyal to Assad fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups such as internationally banned Daesh and al-Nusra Front.

    The previous round of Syrian talks in Geneva finished on March 24. The round saw all delegations submit their settlement proposals to Syrian Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who then produced a final paper with points of convergence between the parties.

    The peace talks followed a Russian-US-brokered ceasefire deal reached on February 27.


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    settlement, Intra-Syria talks, Sergei Gavrilov, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Russia
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