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Saudi King Arrives In Moscow, With Energy, Syria Likely On Agenda


Saudi Arabia's King Salman (file photo)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has arrived in Moscow for talks with President Vladimir Putin, the first visit to the Russian capital by a reigning Saudi monarch.

Russian state television footage showed King Salman's plane arriving at Vnukovo airport outside Moscow on October 4.

Billboards were erected on the road from the airport greeting the 81-year-old king in Arabic and Russian ahead of the visit.

The leaders of the world's two largest oil-exporting countries are expected to discuss energy issues, including efforts to raise crude prices, along with talks on the countries' differences over Syria and Iran.

Saudi Arabia supports U.S.-backed rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, while Russian troops and Iranian militias have backed Assad in the country's six-year civil war.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow hoped the king's visit would lift ties between the countries and allow for continued dialogue.

"Saudi Arabia is a country that plays a key role in Arab affairs," he said. "We in Russia seek to boost dialogue with Riyadh on various issues of common concern, including the current situation in the Middle East and in Syria in particular."

Potential investment deals, including a liquefied-natural-gas project and petrochemical plants, could be finalized during the talks.

Based on reporting by Reuters, The Arab News, and TASS
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