Egypt charts a new course    Youthful Barca take care of Dynamo to seal knockout place    PSG revive Champions League chances with Neymar penalty    Cairo collision    Akhenaten performance at the Cairo Opera House is a must go    An advisory chamber    Leapfrogging the transport network    Golden opportunities    Coronavirus boosts e-payments    GERD: A point of order?    Keeping up with Covid-19    Steps towards Pan-Africanism    The Egyptian Oedipus    In their footsteps    Sarwa Capital participates in The Egypt Entrepreneurship Summit in Aswan    Cairo International Book Fair suspended for five months over coronavirus concerns    Egyptian Exchange leads COMESA in attracting foreign investments    Orascom-Mitsubishi consortium signs $800m contract for Cairo Metro Line 4    Japan can host Olympics despite virus spike: Tokyo governor    Ethiopia says 'large number' of Tigrayan fighters surrender    Biden transition gets govt OK after Trump out of options    AstraZeneca novel COVID-19 vaccine can be 90% effective, results show    Polling stations open at home for 1st stage of Egyptian parliamentary run-offs    Egypt confirms 358 new coronavirus cases, 14 deaths on Saturday    G20 to discuss post-pandemic world, back debt relief    US will reduce number of its troop in Iraq, Afghanistan    Asia forms world's biggest trade bloc, a China-backed group excluding U.S    Egypt unveils largest archaeological discovery in 2020 with over 100 intact sarcophagi    Palestinians mourn the loss their longtime spokesman, Saeb Erekat    Trump says won't blame Egypt for being ‘upset' over GERD dispute with Ethiopia    1st stage of Egypt's parliamentary elections kicks off on Saturday    Global Finance: Egypt's Tarek Amer among the world's top 20 central bank governors    Legend footballer Lionel Messi says he is forced to stay with Barcelona    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    Iraqi conglomerate eyes developing land that housed Mubarak-era ruling party HQ    Legend Messi officially wants to leave Barcelona, hands transfer request    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Saudi visit showcases Putin's growing Middle East influence: Reuters report
Published in Ahram Online on 14 - 10 - 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Saudi Arabia on Monday for the first time in over a decade, seeking to capitalise on growing influence borne of military advances in Syria, strong ties with regional rivals and cooperation on energy policy.
Moscow accrued power in the Middle East in 2015 by sending troops to Syria, where it and Iran have been key backers of President Bashar al-Assad amid civil war, while the United States pulled back.
On the eve of Putin's trip, U.S. troops were evacuating northern Syria as their erstwhile Kurdish allies struck a deal with Assad's army aimed at halting a Turkish offensive.
Russia has also strengthened ties with both Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, which are locked in a decades-old contest for influence that veered towards open conflict after a recent spate of attacks on oil assets in the Gulf that Riyadh and Washington blame on Tehran. Iran denies the charges.
Tensions with Iran, which is locked in several proxy wars with Saudi Arabia including in Yemen, have risen to new highs after Washington last year quit a 2015 international nuclear accord with Tehran and re-imposed sanctions.
Putin, accompanied on the trip by his energy minister and head of Russia's wealth fund, is due to hold talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with whom Putin says he has friendly relations.
The strengthened ties have seen non-OPEC Russia, once regarded as a rival in oil markets, join OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia in forming an alliance known as OPEC+ to support crude prices by restraining output.
Ahead of the visit, Putin, who offered to provide Russian defense systems to the kingdom after Sept. 14 attacks on its oil facilities, said he could also play a positive role in easing tensions with Tehran as he had good ties with both sides.
Any progress on long-mulled Saudi plans to purchase the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems would cause disquiet in Washington, which announced over the weekend it was sending around 3,000 troops and additional air defence systems to Saudi Arabia following last month's attack.
OIL AND INVESTMENTS
Asked about concerns Riyadh was cozying up to Moscow, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said he saw no contradiction.
"We don't believe that having close ties with Russia has any negative impact on our relationship with the United States," he told reporters on Sunday. "We believe that we can have strategic and strong ties with the United States while we develop our ties with Russia."
Russian and Saudi flags lined the streets of Riyadh ahead of Putin's one-day visit, which includes a performance by Russia's Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra. Putin then travels to the United Arab Emirates.
In meetings with Saudi leaders, the Russian president will discuss the OPEC+ pact, which has seen production cut by 1.2 million barrels per day since January.
A forum will convene 300 Saudi and Russian CEOs. The two sides are expected to sign more than $2 billion of deals, including a joint investment by state oil giant Saudi Aramco and Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund.
RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev said a number of Russian investors were interested in a planned initial public offering of Aramco, which could sell between 1% and 2% through a local listing as early as November ahead of a potential international offering.
Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Russia's Gazprom is interested in cooperating with Saudi firms on natural gas.
Moscow, the world's largest wheat exporter, made some progress in accessing the Saudi and Middle Eastern markets when the kingdom agreed in August to relax specifications for wheat imports, opening the door to Black Sea imports.
*This story was edited by Ahram Online


Clic here to read the story from its source.