Al-Assad affirms Syrian support for Russian campaign in Ukraine

Moscow/Cairo, Mar 15 (EFE).- Syrian president Bashar al-Assad said Wednesday his country backs Russia in its fight against “old and new Nazis” in Ukraine.

Assad was meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow.

“I want to take advantage of the moment, as this is my first visit since the [start of the] special operation in Ukraine, and reiterate the Syrian position in support of the special operation against the old and new Nazis,” Assad said, according to Russian state media.

“I’m saying they are old and new Nazis because the West accepted old Nazis on its soil, and now it supports them again,” the Syrian president said, echoing Putin’s words when he launched the invasion last year with the “denazification” of the Ukrainian nation as a primary goal.

Assad said his visit opens “a new phase in Syrian-Russian relations,” and thanked Putin for the assistance provided by Moscow to mitigate the consequences of the devastating earthquake in Syria last month.

Russia has supplied more than 20 tons of humanitarian aid to Syria, including food and blankets.

Putin, for his part, highlighted the growth of trade with Syria, which increased by 7% last year.

“Against all odds, our relations are developing, including the economic sphere. The trade turnover growth by 7% was registered over the last year,” he said, according to Tass.

He also highlighted the “significant results” of Russian and Syrian forces in the fight against international terrorism in the Arab country, referring to the Islamic State.

According to Putin, this allows “making the socio-economic and political situation” in Syria more stable.

The Russian Army, which intervened militarily in Syria in 2015 to prevent Assad’s ouster, has an air base and a naval base in the Mediterranean country.

Before the meeting in the Kremlin, Assad laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located in the Alexander Gardens outside the building to pay tribute to the fallen Soviets in World War II.

A delegation of Syrian politicians and military officers have accompanied Assad on the trip, which will include bilateral meetings between the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries.EFE


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