Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has described Russia as a country that plays a key role in preserving global stability and challenging western attempts at dominating Middle East nations. The Syrian president made the remarks on Saturday when he received a Russian official delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Head of the Russian side to the Joint Committee of the Syrian-Russian trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation. President Assad appreciated Russia's stances in support of the Syrian people in their war against terrorism. He described Moscow's role as "essential and vital," and expressed "the admiration of the Syrian people for Russia's positions." "Russia has reestablished balance in international relations, after long years of hegemony" by the United States, he said during a meeting with a Russian parliamentary delegation in March. Assad further criticized Washington and its Western allies for "acting to destabilize countries whose policies do not coincide with their own." Russia has been a key player regarding the US-backed war which has torn Syria, helping the Syrian government and opposition find a political solution to the crisis. Syria sank into a foreign-hatched insurgency war in March 2011 when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states. The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.