Assad discusses Syrian settlement with Russian delegation

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MOSCOW, (Xinhua) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday discussed Syrian settlement with a high-level Russian delegation in Damascus, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

The delegation included Russia’s special presidential envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentyev, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin and representatives of the Defense Ministry, it said in a statement.

The parties confirmed the necessity to “continue uncompromising fight against terrorism and active efforts to achieve a long-term political settlement in the interests of all Syrians without exception.”

Particular attention was paid to the tasks of post-conflict reconstruction of the country, including ensuring the prompt return of Syrian refugees and displaced people to their places of permanent residence, it said.

Assad expressed the willingness to create necessary conditions for the safe and decent reception and accommodation of Syrians returning to their homeland.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a separate statement Thursday that 232,541 Syrian citizens have returned home from abroad since Sept. 30 2015, when Russia announced the start of an anti-terrorist operation in Syria.

Currently, 6.9 million Syrian refugees have registered in 45 countries and 1.7 million of them have expressed intentions to return home, it said.

Biola Lawal

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