Saudi king visits Russia, slams Iran




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Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdul Aziz harshly criticised Iran on his first visit to Russia, which has close relations with the Islamic republic.

Iran must refrain from interfering in Middle Eastern conflicts because such involvement has destabilised the region, King Salman told Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to comments carried by the Interfax news agency.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have supported opposing sides in ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

Russia, like Iran, is also a key partner of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, who Saudi Arabia has opposed.

King Salman’s visit to Russia has been widely interpreted as a sign of Russia’s growing influence in the Middle East.

Putin described his talk with the Saudi king as very productive, according to comments carried by state media.

Saudi Arabia has expressed interest in buying Russian-made S-400 missile defence systems, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said, according to state news agency TASS.

The S-400, touted as being able to hit targets at a distance of 400 kilometres, is the most advanced offer from Russia.

Russian state nuclear company Rosatom has sent proposals to Saudi Arabia to build a nuclear power plant in the country, the company’s head Alexei Likhachev said, according to TASS.

(Source: dpa/NAN)



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