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Posted: 2020-01-12 21:56:00

Vladimir Putin has been caught on camera making fun of Donald Trump with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, who joked the president should follow in the footsteps of one of Jesus' disciples so 'everything will become normal with him'.

In television footage that aired on Russian-1 Sunday, the Russian president is seen laughing with Assad who explains that Paul the Apostle – who persecuted some of Jesus' disciples – traveled to Damascus to arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem.

However Saint Paul was struck blind by a resurrected Jesus and his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus at the gate of Damascus in the Syrian capital city where the two leaders met on Tuesday.

Paul - previously known as Saul - then began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth was the true Jewish Messiah and son of God.  

Vladimir Putin (center left) has been caught on camera making fun of Donald Trump with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad (left) during an outing in Damascus, Syria on Tuesday

Vladimir Putin (center left) has been caught on camera making fun of Donald Trump with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad (left) during an outing in Damascus, Syria on Tuesday

They joke that President Trump should follow in the footsteps of one of Jesus' disciples so 'everything will become normal with him'

They joke that President Trump should follow in the footsteps of one of Jesus' disciples so 'everything will become normal with him'

'If Trump arrives along this road, everything will become normal with him too,' Assad laughs to Putin during the trip to the Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in Damascus. 

It prompts Putin to quip that Trump would snap up the offer and if not, he'll convince him to visit the country's capital.

'It will be repaired… invite him. He will come,' Putin replies, according to a Twitter video shared online.

When Assad says he's ready to invite Trump, according to a translation, Putin smiles: 'I will tell him.' 

The group including Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All East John X Yazigi, are seen laughing amid the banter. 

Putin had visited Syria amid sky-high tensions in the Middle East. 

In television footage that aired on Russian-1 Sunday, the Russian president is seen laughing with Assad
Assad explains that Paul the Apostle – who had persecuted some of Jesus' disciples – traveled to Damascus to arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem

Assad explains that Paul the Apostle – who had persecuted some of Jesus' disciples – traveled to Damascus to arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem. In television footage that aired on Russian-1 Sunday, they are seen laughing

Saint Paul was struck blind by a resurrected Jesus and following his arrival at the gate of Damascus became Christian after his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus. Assad told Putin: 'If Trump arrives along this road, everything will become normal with him too'

Saint Paul was struck blind by a resurrected Jesus and following his arrival at the gate of Damascus became Christian after his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus. Assad told Putin: 'If Trump arrives along this road, everything will become normal with him too'

The Russian president landed on a plane before being driven to the headquarters of Kremlin forces in the country.

While there, he sat and listened to military briefings alongside Assad before praising efforts to 'restore Syrian statehood and territorial integrity'. 

Putin's visit, his first since 2017, comes amid fears of a war between the US and Iran - a key ally of both Russia and Syria - over the killing of General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike.

There are around 500 US troops still based in eastern Syria despite Donald Trump vowing to withdraw them last year, making the country a potential site of conflict.

Syrian state news agency SANA said that Putin had listened to combat reports from the commander of Russian forces operating in Syria.

Meanwhile Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian state news agency RIA that bilateral negotiations had taken place. 

Putin then replied about Trump: 'It will be repaired … invite him. He will come'. Assad (2-R), Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All East John X Yazigi (2-L) and Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu (R) at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Damascus on Tuesday

Putin then replied about Trump: 'It will be repaired … invite him. He will come'. Assad (2-R), Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All East John X Yazigi (2-L) and Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu (R) at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Damascus on Tuesday

When Assad says he's ready to invite Trump, according to a translation, Putin smiles: 'I will tell him'

When Assad says he's ready to invite Trump, according to a translation, Putin smiles: 'I will tell him'

Putin told Assad that 'a huge distance has been traveled on the road to restoring Syrian statehood and territorial integrity', according to Peskov.

He added that Assad thanked Putin for the visit and expressed appreciation for Moscow’s help during the Syrian civil war. 

The visit coincided with Russian Orthodox Christmas, and Putin was pictured lighting a candle at the church before wishing his troops a happy holiday.

He then visited the Umayyad mosque, also known as the Great Mosque of Damascus, one of the city's largest and oldest Muslim houses of worship in Syria. 

Russia has been a main backer of Assad and has tipped the balance of power in his favor over the past four years with government forces now in control in most of the country.

Iran, and Soleimani in particular, also helped defend the Assad regime during the country's nine-year civil war and led troops in recapturing large parts of the country as the tide turned in his favor.

As Putin and Assad met in Damascus, large protests were underway to mourn Soleimani's passing in Aleppo - one of the cities he helped to liberate.

Thousands of demonstrators burned American flags while carrying pictures of Soleimani and Assad hugging the Iranian Ayatollah.

Syria's conflict began in March 2011 and has left more than 400,000 people dead.

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