Putin meets Saudi defence minister amid differences over Syria

Reuters , Sunday 11 Oct 2015

Vladimir Putin, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Saudi's Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud pose for the media after the Formula One Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom, in Sochi, Russia, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. (Photo: AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin met Saudi Arabia's defence minister on Sunday, in Moscow's biggest attempt so far to reach out to enemies of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad since Russia joined the conflict with air strikes.

Putin met Sheikh Mohammed bin Salman, a son of the Saudi king, on the sidelines of a Formula One race on Sunday, nearly two weeks since Moscow began bombing enemies of Assad, including rebel groups that are supported by Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, appearing alongside Russia's Sergei Lavrov, said Riyadh had concerns about Russia's policy. Lavrov said Moscow understood Saudi concerns and the two countries shared the aim of preventing the establishment of a terrorist caliphate in Syria. 

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