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Russian defense minister meets Bashar al-Assad in Syria

Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu [Wikipedia]

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu on Tuesday met Syria’s Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian capital of Damascus, according to Russian Defense Ministry, Anadolu reports.

The visit was made on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s directives, the ministry said in a statement.

Shoygu held talks with Assad and conveyed to him Putin’s message, the statement said.

READ: Egypt signs $2bn deal for 20 Russian fighter jets

They discussed regional security, post-conflict settlement, expanding the scale of repatriation of Syrians and providing them with the humanitarian aid, it added.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.

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