Putin: Russia ready to cooperate with moderate rebels in Syria — if they can be found

putin-wink

Today the official presidential website of Russia reports the statements Putin made following a working meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in which “the head of the defense department informed the President on the course of the operation of air and space forces of Russia in Syria”:

[…] Vladimir Putin: “We realize that conflicts of this kind must end in a political settlement. I discussed this matter just this morning with the Russian Foreign Minister. During my recent visit to Paris, the President of France, Mr Hollande, voiced an interesting idea that he thought is worth a try, namely, to have President Assad’s government troops join forces with the Free Syrian Army. True, we do not know yet where this army is and who heads it, but if we take the view that these people are part of the healthy opposition, if it were possible to have them join in the fight against terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and others, this would help pave the way to a future political settlement in Syria. […]”

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