In a picture released on January 20, 2014, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with AFP at the presidential palace in Damascus
In a picture released on January 20, 2014, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with AFP at the presidential palace in Damascus © Joseph Eid - AFP/File
In a picture released on January 20, 2014, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with AFP at the presidential palace in Damascus
AFP
Last updated: March 6, 2014

Syria's Assad says he supports Putin on Ukraine

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has expressed his "solidarity" with Russian President Vladimir Putin's position on the crisis in Ukraine, state media reported on Thursday.

In a telegram, Assad "expressed... Syria's solidarity with Putin's efforts to restore security and stability to Ukraine in the face of attempted coups against legitimacy and democracy in favour of radical terrorists", state news agency SANA said.

Assad praised Putin for "wise political leadership and committment to international legitimacy based on the law that governs ties between nations and peoples".

He said Syria was committed to "President Putin's rational, peace-loving approach that seeks to establish a global system supporting stability and fighting extremism and terrorism".

Russia is Syria's closest non-regional ally, and has provided Assad's regime with diplomatic cover internationally and continued supplies of weapons as he battles an uprising that began in 2011.

Assad's comments come amid a major crisis after the ouster of Ukraine's president and Russia's seizure of the country's Crimea region.

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