Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gesture after delivering joint statements in Jerusalem June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun - RTX39AGA

President Vladimir Putin: ‘defeat of terrorists in Syria imminent’

President Vladimir Putin declared that he had ground to believe that Moscow, along with Damascus, would soon defeat the terrorists that have plagued the war-torn-country of Syria. That said, President Putin emphasized that it was too early to celebrate victory because terrorist organizations have “deep roots.”

The Russian President further stressed that the great mistrust between the Syrian government and opposition has hampered efforts to bring about a political solution to the six-and-a-half-year conflict. Nevertheless, Putin stressed that efforts to convene a congress of the Syrian peoples could establish a foundation to move forward. He said, “There is an idea to convene the congress of Syrian peoples, in order for all ethnic and religious groups to participate, as well as the government and the opposition. If we manage to do that – with the support of guarantor-countries, and even powerful players from outside the region such as Saudi Arabia, U.S., Egypt – this would be the next very important step towards political settlement and then maybe to drafting the new constitution. But it is still too early to talk about it,” the Russian leader asserted.

President Putin also took the opportunity to declare the de-escalation zones, which Moscow implemented in Syria together with Iran and Turkey, has already started to bear-fruit, as it creates a safe environment that provides a foundation for a political discourse.