MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin met recently with Saudi Arabian foreign minister Saud al-Faisal, a Kremlin spokesman said on Tuesday, as both countries appeared to step up dialogue over the war in Syria.
Putin and Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat met “one or two weeks ago”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told AFP, refusing to say where the encounter took place or what was discussed.
The two countries support opposing sides in the three-year Syrian civil war.
Saudi Arabia has been a key backer of rebel groups in Syria, while Russia is a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, blocking UN Security Council resolutions against Assad’s regime and continuing to supply it with weapons.
Confirmation of the meeting come a day after Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov held a telephone conversation with his Saudi counterpart to discuss the war.
“Special attention was paid to the political and diplomatic task of resolving the crisis in Syria,” a statement from Russia’s foreign ministry said.
The two ministers also affirmed a desire for the two sides to “activate economic and energy cooperation where there is solid potential for growth”.