Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar Assad at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, October 20, 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Syrian President Bashar Assad secretly visited Russian President Valdimar Putin in Moscow, just days before the latter met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in June, Lebanese newspaper Al-Joumhouria reported Thursday.
Putin and Assad discussed the crisis in Syria as well as the possibility of a comprehensive agreement with Israel, including the Golan Heights, Al-Joumhouria reported, however the Kremlin denied the report.
The Lebanese paper also reported that the American government was involved in the secret meeting.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will reportedly be part of the process on an overall regional plan when it is presented to him during an upcoming visit to Moscow on August 9.
Syrian news agency SANA also reported Thursday that Assad has issued a decree granting amnesty to all rebels who turn in their weapons to Syrian authorities.
"Assad called on the rebels to lay down their arms and return to the homeland," SANA reported.
Assad also called on all Syrians to stand together as one alongside the Syrian army and to eradicate the roots of terrorism.
"This is an opportunity for all those who bore arms against the regime to show their will to belong to the Syrian homeland and to join the re-establishment of the state," SANA quoted Assad as saying.