Lavrov: Russia and Saudi Arabia expressed willingness to cooperate in the military


SOCHI, October 11. The President of Russia Vladimir Putin assured the defense Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, that Russia understands the concerns of the Kingdom in connection with the situation in Syria. This was stated by Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after talks in expanded format the President of Russia Vladimir Putin with defence Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman.

“Special attention was paid to discussing the situation in Syria and around it, – said Lavrov. – We cooperate closely with Saudi Arabia than one year on the issue of the Syrian crisis. Today President Vladimir Putin confirmed our understanding of the concerns that arise in the Kingdom”.

“It was a complete coincidence the goals that Saudi Arabia and Russia are pursuing in Syria. This is primarily to prevent in Syria has triumphed terrorist Caliphate”, – said the Minister.

“The second goal (on Syria) that we share with our Saudi friends, is that Syria has triumphed national reconciliation, so that all Syrians, regardless of race or religion, felt themselves masters of their country, – said Lavrov. – Discussed the practical steps that can bring us closer to the beginning of this process”.

According to the Minister, the Russian Federation reiterated its position on Assad, but this does not prevent promotion to launch political settlement in Syria. “After today’s talks we much better understand how to move towards a political settlement,” Lavrov said.

Saudi Arabia must connect to the settlement process

Russia advocates that all the external players that have influence in Syria, including Saudi Arabia, contributed to the launch of a national dialogue, said Sergei Lavrov.

“In principle we are in favour of all the external players that have influence on those or other political forces in Syria, contributed to the early launch of such a national dialogue, the Minister said. – Especially, we are interested in cooperation with such an important country in the region like Saudi Arabia”.

On cooperation in the military sphere

According to the head of the foreign Ministry, Russia and Saudi Arabia expressed willingness to cooperate in the military area, to make it clear that VKS RF is applied in Syria strikes on the terrorists.

“We confirmed our understanding of the concern in Saudi Arabia, with regard to the goals that the Russian military strike in Syria, Lavrov emphasized. – From our party there was a commitment that found a counter-response from the successor of the crown Prince, the willingness to closely cooperate have become to our military, representatives of special services, so there are no doubts that the goals of the Russian aircraft are the objectives of ISIL, “jabhat al-EN-Nusra” and other terrorist groups.”

According to Lavrov, the parties have the understanding that today’s meeting “will really help propel our cooperation in the political process, and anti-terrorism track”.

On cooperation in economy and military and technical cooperation

The Russian President and defense Minister of Saudi aravi said interest in the two countries ‘ cooperation in economy and military-technical cooperation. “The parties noted that there are very good opportunities in various fields, including economy, investment, military and technical cooperation”, – said the head of the Russian foreign Ministry.

Specific departments of the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia will continue military-technical cooperation, Lavrov said.

On Palestinian-Israeli relations

Russia is in contact with its partners in the middle East on the issue of the deteriorating Palestinian-Israeli relations and is in favor to defuse the situation and return to the path of settlement, said the Minister.

“We and our Saudi partners and with other partners in the middle East, are in very close contact on the issue, which is now compounded in Palestinian-Israeli relations”, – said the head of the Russian foreign Ministry. According to him, Moscow together with its partners, advocates that use the resources of the Quartet and the League of Arab States “in order to still defuse the situation, to return to the path of fulfillment of the resolutions of the UN Security Council and other arrangements on the Palestinian-Israeli settlement”.

Lavrov stressed that a sound basis for the settlement should remain the Arab peace initiative, which was put forward by Saudi Arabia. According to the head of the Russian foreign Ministry, this initiative is as relevant as ever today. “We agreed to stay in close contact on this issue, too,” – concluded Lavrov.