09 October, 2017
Photos show Putin personally pour a cup of tea for his royal guest at the Kremlin Palace.
This is the first visit to Moscow by a reigning Saudi Monarch.
In the first ever visit to Moscow by a reigning Saudi monarch, King Salman is expected to prioritize oil cooperation but will also discuss differences with Russian Federation over Syria and Iran.
But hostilities seemed a thing of the past as Russia rolled out a lavish carpet for King Salman.The Saudi king landed in Moscow to be greeted by giant billboards "emblazoned with his own image and a message welcoming him to Russia in Arabic and Russian", reported CNN.
King Salman said Saudi Arabia was seeking to strengthen bilateral relations for the sake of peace and security and in the interest of the development of global economy.
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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow hoped the king's trip would breathe life into a relationship with huge potential and was interested in maintaining dialogue with Riyadh "about the Middle East and Syria in particular". Our relations have an extremely large history, "he said".
The visit is considered to be the result of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's efforts, who built friendly ties with Putin during his first visit to Russian Federation in 2015 as his country's defense minister.
The Saudi Arabia head of state booked out both the Four Seasons Moscow and the Ritz Carlton in preparation for the discussions.
Salman is the first sitting Saudi monarch to ever travel to Russian Federation and his visit has been accompanied by a slew of deals worth several billion dollars. "Relations between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia have reached an historical moment". Relations improved under the Trump administration, but Washington's focus in Syria continues to be on fighting the Islamic State group, not on ousting Assad.
Anna Borshchevskaya, a fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says that even though Moscow has no capacity to replace Washington, its is definitely exerting its diplomatic muscles on the world stage.
"That said, it's clear that Russian Federation has been able to play a weak hand very well and step into vacuums everywhere where the US has treated", he said.