By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu on Tuesday met Syria’s Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian capital of Damascus, according to Russian Defense Ministry.
The visit was made on Russian President Vladimir Putin's directives, the ministry said in a statement.
Shoygu held talks with Assad and conveyed to him Putin's message, the statement said.
They discussed regional security, post-conflict settlement, expanding the scale of repatriation of Syrians and providing them with the humanitarian aid, it added.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.