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Saudi King jokes after receiving honorary doctorate: I'm now Dr. Salman


Iran must refrain from interfering in Middle Eastern conflicts because such involvement has destabilised the region, King Salman told Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to comments carried by the Interfax news agency.

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

Saudi King Salman's visit to Russian Federation "is a historical one" as it shows that "the two parties are ready to open a new era", Hassan Nafaa said.

Earlier, Saudi King and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Salman bin Abdul Aziz arrived in Moscow Thursday for a two-day official visit to Russian Federation.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir also said that the two countries are working to unite Syrian opposition and that they have agreed on the need to preserve Syria's territorial integrity and state institutions.

He added that consultation between the Kingdom and Russian Federation is continuing and is considered constructive in all fields and that "we are confident that the two countries would contribute to bringing about security, peace and stability to the region and the world at large".

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said agreements came in the fields of "energy - not only traditional but also nuclear power - and also in cooperation in space exploration (and) agroindustry and infrastructure projects".


For his part, Jubeir said that "we believe that new horizons have opened up for the development of our relations that we could not previously have imagined".

"I'm sure your visit will boost the ties between our countries", he said. Saudi Arabia is the country that buys the most U.S. arms and Washington and Riyadh in May announced a $110 billion deal to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia.

As for the Syrian issue, Al-Jubeir said "we are closely working with Russian Federation to unite the modern Syrian opposition, expand its influence to enable it to enter the political process in Geneva".

Saudi King Salman may seek assurances from Moscow that Iran will not have a permanent role in Syria.

Saudi King Salman walks down the escalator of his plane upon arrival in Moscow's Government Vnukovo airport, Russia. US light crude was up 10 cents at $50.08. Despite regional disagreements, the two major oil-producing nations found common ground on energy policy in November, when they led a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC states to cut production in a bid to shore up crude prices. But on Syria, the two countries remain divided with Washington's focus on fighting ISIS the Islamic State group, not on ousting Assad. "The political will of Moscow and Riyadh for deeper cooperation on the widest range of issues is clear".

"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 retreated", she said.

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