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Saturday, May 19

Putin greets Assad with a joke, Merkel with flowers



As to what Putin said that made Assad laugh so hard, I wish I knew. 

DW's take on the Putin-Merkel meeting in Sochi; Reuters and RFERL on the Putin-Assad meeting, also in Sochi. 

A big thanks to RFERL for providing Americans with a link to the Kremlin's summary of what was said at the Putin-Assad meet. It's in Russian. Such a help. Yes yes but I just don't feel like fooling with Google Translate at the moment. 

But for me the most illuminating summary is that Putin waited outside for Assad's car to arrive so he could immediately greet Assad -- a gesture of great respect for a national leader to accord another --  and that he obviously wanted the video record of this to be seen by the public. 

SANA has posted the video, also available at YouTube.

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Comments:
As they appear in the transcription the remarks from Putin and Assad are pretty boilerplate. Putin greets Assad, takes note of the month of Ramadan, and then congratulates him on the successes of the Syrian Army in rooting out terrorists. He then talks about humanitarian aid and the need for supporting the political process. Assad responds pretty much in kinds.
 
What?! No discussion of the weather? But thanks for the translation, Dave. Are you studying Russian, now, or just wrestling with machine translations?
 
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