The Presidential Daily Brief

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    Putin Hosts Assad Ahead of Syria Peace Talks

    He’s scooping the competition. Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad, on Monday during the Middle Eastern strongman’s surprise visit to Sochi — where Putin will also receive Turkish and Iranian leaders in a scheduled summit tomorrow. Observers believe the meetings are aimed at marginalizing U.N.-brokered peace talks in Geneva and cementing Russia as the dominant diplomatic force to end Syria’s years-long civil war — as well as keeping Assad, a Moscow ally, in power. Putin is expected to speak with President Trump later today.

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