SOCHI: Vladimir Putin will meet with the presidents of Turkey and Iran Wednesday for a key summit aimed at resuscitating the peace process in Syria, two days after the Russian leader hosted surprise talks with Bashar al-Assad.
Ahead of the trilateral summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi Putin on Tuesday discussed Syria with his US counterpart Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, among other leaders.
In a lengthy phone call both Putin and Trump spoke of the need for progress toward a peace settlement and stressed the need to ensure “the stability of a unified Syria,” the White House said.
The country is currently divided between forces loyal to Kremlin-allied strongman Assad, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and several militants groups and rebel units. Multiple rounds of talks hosted by the UN have failed to bring an end to the six-year war, which has killed more than 330,000 people and forced millions from their homes.
Other initiatives including those spearheaded by Moscow have also failed to bear much fruit. Encouraged by military successes of the Russian and Syrian forces on the ground, Putin is hoping to breathe new life in the stuttering negotiations.