(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) DAMASCUS, May 23 (KUNA) -- Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad discussed on Wednesday with the Russian emissary for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev means of "activating the political process" for resolving the eight-year-old Syrian crisis, according to the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
Lavrentiev conveyed to Al-Assad congratulations from Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership for restoring control on the Damascus countryside.
Al-Assad praised the Russian people and leadership, describing Russia as a "partner in these victories which will not stop until the elimination of the last terrorist and liberating the remaining terrorist hotbeds," according to SANA.
Government forces have retaken control over all regions surrounding the capital.
During the meeting, an emphasis was put on the importance of developing mechanisms to implement the outcomes of the recent Sochi summit in terms of "continuing counterterrorism, ramping up Russiaآ's participation in the reconstruction, as well invigorating and pushing the political process forward," SANA added Lavrentiev, for his part, said Sochiآ's recent meeting and the talks during it have given fresh impetus to bilateral relations between the two countries and the various aspects of mutual cooperation.
He urged all international parties which have a genuine desire to back the political process to capitalize on the positive developments in Syria and the Syrian governmentآ's efforts to push the political process forward, and to support endeavors to reach conclusions that will put an end to the war and stop bloodshed in Syria.
Russia had masterminded talks among some of the Syrian crisis stakeholders, resulting in some truces and accords for relocation of fighters and civilians.
Many of the opposition gunmen who have withdrawn from the capital outskirts have settled in northwestern region of Idlib, which is not under government's control.
Other major powers, namely the United States, the United Kingdom and France have been more active on another path of negotiations for settling the crisis; the Geneva sessions.
The stakeholders have differences on various issues, arguing for example whether Al-Assad should remain in power. (end) tk.rk
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