Putin convinced Assad ready for dialogue with opposition
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he is convinced that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is ready for dialogue with the opposition, TASS reported.
"The Syrian conflict was caused by not only the fight against militants and terrorist aggression, although it is evident and the terrorists just made use of difficulties in Syria. It is necessary to separate the terrorist threat from domestic political problems," Putin said at a meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.
He said "the Syrian leadership should establish working contacts with those opposition forces that are ready for dialogue."
"As I understood from my conversation with President Assad the day before yesterday, he is ready for such a dialogue," Putin said.
According to the Russian leader, Bashar al-Assad during their talks in Moscow told him that he would be positive if the Russian Federation supported the armed opposition in Syria ready to fight terrorists.
"I asked him [Assad] what his attitude would be if we found in Syria even armed opposition that would be ready to really counter and fight terrorists, the ISIL [former name of Islamic State terrorist group], if we supported their efforts in the fight against terrorists like [we support] the Syrian army." According to the Russian leader, Assad replied he would be positive about it.
"We are thinking it over, and trying, if possible, to translate these agreements to practice," Putin added.