India, Russia A Privileged Partnership: Putin's New Year Message To PM

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a New Year letter to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said that Turkey and his country will continue to strengthen security in Asia.

The tension between the two countries was reflected when Trump cancelled his meeting with Putin which was scheduled to take place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina. The two leaders also failed to meet in Paris during the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

In a separate letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Mr Putin pledged the continuation of aid to the Syrian government and people in the "fight against terrorism, in defence of state sovereignty and territorial integrity".

According to a report from AOL, Putin wants to discuss the United States' plan to withdraw from a nuclear arms deal made during the Cold War.

The last 12 months have been marked by the intensifying scrutiny of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian electoral interference, Trump's significant departures from recent US foreign policy in the Mideast and Europe - two areas of renewed focus for Putin - and perhaps most notably the remarkable July summit and subsequent press conference between the two leaders in Helsinki.

Putin wished "well-being and prosperity to the British people", the Kremlin said.

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Putin's message to Assad "stressed that Russian Federation will continue to provide all-around assistance to the government and people of Syria in their fight against terrorism and efforts to protect state sovereignty and territorial integrity", according to the Kremlin summary.

The message to Assad comes weeks after Trump announced that the US will remove 2,000 troops from Syria.

Mattis will leave the post on January 1, 2019.

In his congratulatory message to Putin, Xi said that the year 2018 has a special significance in China-Russia relations, and both countries have smoothly completed their respective important domestic political agendas and opened a new era for China-Russia ties, Xinhua reported.

This is not the first time that Putin has penned a note to Trump and other world leaders.

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