Putin calls Assad for first conversation since Syrian war

The Russian president’s spokesman said Friday that Vladimir Putin had held his first telephone conversation with Bashar Assad since March 2011, to “positively assess” the Damascus government’s willingness to send a delegation to the peace talks in Geneva planned for Dec. 12 and destroy chemical arms. DEBKAfile: Putin’s phone call attested to the Assad regime gaining stability in the wake of recent military successes against the Syrian rebellion.

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