Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin's summer residence on the Black Sea for talks on Thursday about the Syrian conflict, the Kremlin said.
At the meeting, in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, al-Assad congratulated Putin on his new term as president, after he was re-elected in March, and thanked the Russian military for its support in Syria.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the meeting, which had not been announced in advance, took place on Thursday.
"Stability is improving, and all that opens the doors to the political process, which we started a while ago," al-Assad told Putin, according to a transcript of the opening remarks from the meeting posted on the Kremlin website.
"I have always said, and I repeat it again, that we have always wholeheartedly supported the political process, which should proceed in parallel with the war on terrorism."
"We know that will not be easy, since there are countries which do not want stability to return to Syria. However, together with you and our other partners and friends, we will move firmly forward with the peace process," al-Assad added.
In remarks cited by the Kremlin, Putin, for his part, congratulated al-Assad on what he said were significant successes on the battlefield achieved by the Syrian military.
"The terrorists have laid down their arms in key locations in Syria, which has allowed for the restoration of Syrian infra-structure," said Putin.
"And of course now, after these military successes, additional conditions have doubtless been created for the renewal of a fully-fledged political process."
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team