Saudi spy chief meets Putin in Moscow

Saudi spy chief meets Putin in Moscow
Fri Aug 2, 2013 11:10:52

Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a rare and previously unannounced meeting with Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar Bin Sultan to discuss the situation in the Middle East.

“A wide number of questions regarding Saudi-Russia relations were discussed as well as the situation in North Africa and the Middle East,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies on Wednesday.

Peskov gave no further details about the talks in the Russian capital, which come amid strained relations between Moscow and Riyadh over the conflict in Syria.

Saudi Arabia has been strongly supportive of the militants battling the Syrian government. But Russia, to the fury of Riyadh and its Western allies, has refused to cut its cooperation with the Damascus government.

Prince Bandar, who was formerly ambassador to the United States, also serves as secretary general of Saudi Arabia’s National Security Council.

Widely regarded as among the most influential powerbrokers in the Middle East, Prince Bandar is the son of the late crown prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, who died in 2011.