Putin, Assad Surprisingly Meet in MoscowWorld | October 21, 2015, Wednesday // 10:52| views
A file picture dated 19 December 2006 shows Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (L) shaking hands prior to a meeting in Moscow's Kremlin, Russia. EPA/BGNES
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in Syria as the former was in Moscow on an unannounced visit on Tuesday, the Kremlin says.
A statement quotes Putin as saying that Russia is "concerned" with terrorism-related developments in the Middle East, and in particular with "about 4000, at least", people from ex-Soviet republics fighting the forces of Assad.
Putin stands up for the political solution of the conflict in Syria as the only viable one.
"In the end, the final say should be indisputably left to the people of Syria," he is quoted as explaining.
Different aspects of the Russian-Syrian actions against anti-Assad forces, including the Islamic State (IS) group but also some other opposition entities, were on the bilateral agenda.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov refrained from comment when asked by a journalist whether the future of Assad itself was discussed, Lenta.ru reports. Some Western leaders have changed their position that the Syrian President should step down as a first condition for stabilization of the country.