30 Oct 2017 14:48

Al-Assad not 'intoxicated' with success, wants political process - Lavrentyev

MOSCOW. Oct 30 (Interfax) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not "intoxicated" with the Syrian army's success and wants to launch a political settlement process, Russian President's Special Representative for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev told the Rossiya 24 TV channel (VGTRK).

"Most importantly, the Syrian leadership has demonstrated an interest in furthering the political process," Lavrentyev said while discussing the meeting he had with al-Assad in Damascus last Friday.

"We noticed that they were not intoxicated with success and victories, if I can put it that way. Many in the West believed that Bashar al-Assad, having won significant victories on the ground, would strike an attitude and demand the impossible," he said.

"That did not happen. Judging by what we saw at the meeting, the Syrian leader really understands the need for a profound national political dialogue in order to find the only correct way out of the situation in reconciliation," Lavrentyev said.

"A normal civilian life" is gradually being restored in Syria, he said.

"People are coming back, refugees are returning. I am pleased to say that the number of refugees returning to Syria has grown lately. This means people are aware of the change [...] and are planning to stay in Syrian territory rather than go abroad," Lavrentyev said.