MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin met Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan near Moscow and discussed the war in Syria and Iran’s nuclear program, the Kremlin said Tuesday.
Russia has staunchly supported President Bashar Assad during the conflict, while Saudi Arabia has backed rebels trying to overthrow the Syrian leader.
The Kremlin said Putin and Prince Bandar discussed plans for the Geneva II peace conference on Syria to be held in Geneva on Jan. 22. It did not say when the two men met.
“There was a detailed exchange of opinions on the situation in Syria, including in the context of preparation for the Geneva II conference,” said a statement posted on the Kremlin website.
Russia and the U.S. first announced plans for the conference in May. In September, they brokered a deal to rid Syria of chemical weapons after a sarin gas attack near Damascus, averting the possibility of U.S. airstrikes.
“Positive dynamics in the international efforts to settle the Iranian nuclear dossier were noted,” the Kremlin said.
Iran and six world powers, including Russia, clinched a deal last month to curb the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear program in exchange for initial sanctions relief.