Saudi King Salman's lavish trip to Russian Federation included gold-plated escalators, luxury carpets

Oct 09, 2017, 00:33
Saudi King Salman's lavish trip to Russian Federation included gold-plated escalators, luxury carpets

Photos show Putin personally pour a cup of tea for his royal guest at the Kremlin Palace.

It is the first-ever visit by a sitting Saudi monarch to Russian Federation.

Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, has described the visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to the Russian Federation, the first by a Saudi monarch, as historic by all standards, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Moreover, RDIF and Saudi Arabia's sovereign fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) plan to invest in more than 25 projects in the areas of consumer goods production, agriculture, real estate, infrastructure, oil and gas sector, TASS reported.

Putin and Salman also discussed the conflict in Syria, where they support opposing sides.

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However, any discord was eclipsed by mutual expressions of respect, and the pomp and ceremony Russian officials put on to greet the Saudi king.

"We are certain that the further strengthening of Russian-Saudi relations will have a positive impact on strengthening stability and security in the region and the world".

The two leaders exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa and agreed on the need to fight terrorism, Lavrov said. A plane carrying supplies and food was flying between Riyadh and Moscow daily, and the Saudi government has booked two entire luxury hotels for their visit, the report said.

This is also the first time in recent years, according to SIPRI, that Saudi Arabia has purchased weaponry from Moscow, as the U.S. is Riyadh's main source of arms.

These contracts are "expected to play a pivotal role in the growth and development of the military and military systems industry in Saudi Arabia", the statement read.

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Another memorandum of understanding was signed under which Sibur, Russia's largest producer of petrochemicals, would explore cooperation with Saudi Arabia.

Other factors also weighed on oil prices, including the return to production of Libya's Sharara oilfield on Wednesday after an armed brigade forced a two-day shutdown.

Putin said the agreement to cut oil production past year between OPEC and non-OPEC countries could be extended beyond March 2018 but an announcement was unlikely before the next OPEC meeting in Vienna at the end of November. 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. Fyodor Lukyanov, the Kremlin-connected chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy, said Riyadh saw closer ties with Moscow as expedient for the moment, and was "diversifying risks" by buying arms from both Moscow and the US.

"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 USA has treated", he said.

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