Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as seen in Damascus, Syria November 14, 2017. SANA/Handout via REUTERS
MOSCOW - 16 October 2018: Syrian President Bashar al Assad has said at a meeting with a delegation from Crimea that he plans to attend the Yalta International Economic Forum (YIEF) in April 2019, if circumstances permit, TASS News Agency quoted member of the Crimean delegation and Co-Chairman of the YIEF Organizing Committee Andrei Nazarov as saying on Tuesday.
"He said that he would be sure to take part [in it], if nothing prevented him from doing so," Nazarov said.
"Bashar Assad said it was a great honor for him to be invited, and he would certainly come, if circumstances permitted. He added that he would like to visit Crimea and take part in such a major event as the YIEF," Nazarov added.
According to a member of the Crimean delegation, the Syrian president linked the possibility of his participation in the forum to the situation in Syria. "He said, if we liberate everything by that time, there will be no obstacles for my trip to the Yalta forum. As far as I understand, they [Syrians] want to tackle all issues here during this time," Nazarov added when asked whether Assad mentioned plans for Idlib, the last remaining major militant stronghold in Syria.
The Crimean delegation’s meeting with al-Assad was held on Tuesday morning in Damascus.