DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov have discussed a constitutional committee meant to draft the Arab country’s new constitution as well as Moscow’s efforts to revive the war-ravaged nation’s economy.
During a meeting in the Syrian capital Damascus, President Assad and Borisov exchanged views about ways to improve bilateral cooperation in all fields at different levels and the agreements signed between the two countries in the energy, industry, and trade sectors, the Syrian Arab News Agency SANA reported.
It added that the two sides also reviewed feasible mechanisms to overcome all the obstacles facing the implementation of the agreements, including the West’s sanctions on Syria, and to promote cooperation in new sectors in a way that would serve the interests of the two nations.
Borisov, who is also the chairman of the Joint Syrian-Russian Committee for Trade, Economy, Science and Technology Cooperation, briefed President Assad on the implementation of the agreements and the obstacles hindering their fulfillment.
Earlier, Assad called for progress in stalled talks on a so-called buffer zone around terrorist-held Idlib province in the country’s northwest.
He made the remarks in a meeting with the Russian president’s special envoy Alexander Lavrentiev in Damascus.
The Syrian president also stressed his government’s determination to eliminate terrorist groups which are holed up in Idlib and attack civilians in neighboring areas.
He also called for the removal of any "obstacles" blocking the full implementation of the deal, the presidency wrote on Facebook.
Turkey and Russia brokered a deal in September 2018 to create a demilitarized zone in Idlib that would be evacuated of all heavy weapons and terrorists.
Assad’s meeting with the Russian diplomat came ahead of fresh Syria talks aimed at ending the conflict in the war-torn country. The new round of Syria negotiations is scheduled to be held on April 25 and 26 in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.
The Syrian president’s call for progress in talks and elimination of terrorist groups holed up in Idlib comes as the situation in the militant-held province is being described as "dangerous”.
Russia has also warned that al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists and the Western-backed White Helmets "aid" group are gearing up for a false flag chemical attack in Idlib, the last major militant stronghold in the Arab state.