Russian delegation in Saudi Arabia to discuss Syria

Russian delegation in Saudi Arabia to discuss Syria
A team of Russian officials were in Riyadh to discuss the situation in Syria with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
2 min read
16 October, 2018
The Saudi Crown Prince meets with Alexander Lavrentiev in Riyadh [Getty]

A delegation of high-ranking foreign and defence government officials from Russia met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the situation in Syria, the Russian defence ministry reported on Tuesday.

The ministry said the Russian team, which included Russia's Special Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev was in Saudi Arabia on 14 and 15 October. 

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and Saudi Minister of State Dr Musaid al-Aiban also took part in the meeting, according to official Saudi news agency SPA.

Neither Russian nor Saudi sources elaborated further on what was discussed or if any agreements were made.

The Saudis have historically supported factions of the Syrian opposition during the seven-year conflict, providing arms to various rebel groups in an attempt to counter Iranian support for the Syrian regime.

Russia on the other hand has played a decisive role in aiding Bashar al-Assad's regime to retake most of the Syrian territory lost to the opposition following the uprising in 2011.

Meanwhile, a Russian-Turkish truce agreement reached nearly a month ago for the northwestern region of Idlib is hanging in the balance after rebel fighters refuse to leave the area.

The deal gave "radical fighters" until 15 October to leave a proposed demilitarised area between regime and opposition forces, in a last-ditch effort to stave off a bloody regime onslaught on the region.

Idlib is the largest rebel stronghold left in war-ravaged Syria and home to around three million people.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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