7 Mar 2018 15:35

Moscow, Riyadh can counter forces fueling Middle East crises - Saudi official

MOSCOW. March 7 (Interfax) - Russia and Saudi Arabia can pool their efforts to settle crises in the Middle East despite the interference of external forces, Saudi Arabian Advisory Board Deputy Chairman Yahya Bin Abdullah Al-Samaan said at a meeting with State Duma First Deputy Speaker Ivan Melnikov on Wednesday.

"Our countries - Russia, which is a very serious country, a superpower, and Saudi Arabia, which has a very advantageous strategic position and a lot of weight in the Islamic world due to the presence of two key Islamic holy sites on its territory - not to mention that both countries are major exporters of energy resources - could help settle the ongoing crises in our region, where some regional and international forces are trying to escalate tension. We could cooperate in this area," Al-Samaan said.

"We appreciate Russia's stance on the Palestinian problem and the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem, as well as Russia's growing role in resolving Middle East crises and problems," Al-Samaan said. He said he hopes that Russia's role in settling the regional crisis will grow even more.

The huge outflow of refugees from Syria is part of the crisis; Syria needs to regain stability and security, Al-Samaan said.

Majlis al Shura is an advisory body within the Saudi government.