• Reuters

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Syrian President Bashar Assad met senior officials from his strongest ally, Russia, in Damascus on Friday and Saturday to discuss upcoming peace talks, renting out Tartus port and trade between the two countries, state media in Syria reported.

Russia has helped Assad’s forces to take back most of the country but the eight-year-long war continues. Swaths of the northeast and northwest are out of his control, while sanctions and a fuel shortage are constricting the economy.

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