Vladimir Putin hosted Assad in talks for Syria peace deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia November 20, 2017. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS
Vastavam web: Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad late on Monday for three hours of talks to lay the groundwork for a new push by Moscow to end Syria’s conflict now that Islamic State’s territorial caliphate is overrun.Putin said he would follow up his meeting with Assad by talking in the next 48 hours to international leaders with influence over the conflict, among them U.S. President Donald Trump, the Saudi king, and the leaders of Iran and Turkey.
Previous attempts to end Syria’s six years of war have foundered because of bitter disagreements among players in the conflict, both inside and outside Syria, especially whether Assad himself should stay in power.In a sign that international attempts may be underway to bridge the differences between rival sides in the conflict, leading Syrian opposition figures, including former prime minister Riyad Hijab, resigned.Hijab headed the opposition High Negotiations Committee, formed with Saudi backing, and had insisted on Assad’s removal from power at the start of a political transition.
On Wednesday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani whose countries back opposing sides in the Syria conflict will travel to Russia for a three-way meeting with Putin aimed at advancing the Syrian peace process.