October 25, 2015 / 8:57 AM / 4 years ago

Syria's Assad says 'eliminating terrorist groups' will lead to political solution

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said “the elimination of terrorist groups” would lead to a political solution sought by Syria and Russia, and expressed his appreciation for Russian air strikes in a meeting with a Russian delegation on Sunday, Syrian state media reported.

Earlier the Russian news agency RIA cited a lawmaker who attended the meeting as saying Assad was ready to take part in presidential elections if the Syrian people supported the idea.

SANA’s initial report on the meeting made no mention of a proposal floated by Russia for new presidential and parliamentary elections.

“Eliminating the terrorist organizations will lead to the political solution that we strive for in Syria and Russia,” Assad was quoted as saying by state news agency SANA.

Writing by Tom Perry

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