Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Sochi to discuss potential peace efforts, championed by Russia, Iran, and Turkey, the AP reports.

The backdrop: Putin told Assad that he's going to cut back Russia's military presence in Syria, though in the past, Moscow hasn't followed through on its announced military curtailments.

  • Assad thanked Putin and all Russians for their efforts to save Syria.
  • This came before a meeting between the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey, where they all agreed to coordinate efforts in Syria, per the AP — Iran and Russia have been backing Assad while Turkey has been backing the opposition.
  • Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman have discussed the Syria situation via a phone call with Putin, per the AP. The White House said Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Ukraine were on the agenda.

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