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    People walk past a billboard depicting Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at Saadallah al-Jabri Square, in the government controlled area of Aleppo, Syria December 17, 2016

    Assad Thanks Putin for Russia's Efforts to Liberate Aleppo

    © REUTERS / Omar Sanadiki
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    Syrian President Bashar Assad thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for Moscow's efforts to liberate Aleppo, Syrian government news agency SANA reported Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the Kremlin's press service said that Putin congratulated Assad with the liberation of Aleppo during a phone conversation, the Kremlin said Friday, noting that the main task now is peace efforts.

    "The two sides discussed during the phone call the next political process in Syria, with President Assad thanking President Putin and Russia as a key ally for Syria which contributed along with other allies to liberating Aleppo," the report said.

    "President Assad said victories in Aleppo paved the way for political work in Syria, adding that they will push many parties which hindered the political process to join the political track and reconciliations," it said.

    On December 16, the Russian Defense Ministry's center for Syrian reconciliation said that the Syrian army operation to liberate Aleppo's eastern neighborhoods was over, and that Syrian government troops were eliminating separate hotbeds of militants' resistance. On Thursday, the Syrian army declared victory in Aleppo as the last convoy with militants left the city's east.

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    Tags:
    Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, Russia, Aleppo, Syria
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