The Russian president hosted Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani in Sochi, Russia on Thursday. The three leaders discussed their joint effort to further reconciliation in Syria, a goal that they assure is coming closer with every month.
The plans of US President Donald Trump to withdraw US troops from northern Syria and an apparent lack of delivering on it was a major point of discussion at the media conference attended by the three leaders. All agreed that the promised withdrawal will benefit Syria, but Putin seemed to be the most optimistic that the move will actually happen anytime soon.
“President Trump is quite actively working on fulfilling his election campaign promises, which in practice rarely happens in the US political life. The withdrawal of the American troops from Syria was one of those promises,” Putin said.
He conceded that opposition to Trump’s plans at home does not always allow him to carry out his plans, which may be what is happening with the announced withdrawal now. But eventually, Putin said, Russia expects the Americans to leave Syria.
“If that happens, the only right decision in terms of security would be handing over those territories under the control of the Syrian armed forces,” Putin stressed.