"It is a perfect time now and there is an opportunity for Saudi Arabia and Russia to work together on bringing peace to Syria. But they need to find common ground specifically with regard to peace in Syria as opposed to reaching a consensus on keeping President Bashar al-Assad in power," he said during an expert debate held at the Valdai Discussion Club.
As a result, both countries have not seen eye to eye when it comes to the fate of President Assad, with Saudis calling for his immediate resignation. Moscow has always maintained that it is up to the Syrian people to choose their leaders.
Despite these differences, Khashoggi, who serves as media advisor to the Saudi ambassador Prince Turki Al Faisal, maintained that Syria could bring Russia and Saudi Arabia closer together.
"I think that Syria offers an excellent opportunity to build close relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia," he said, pointing to oil, energy and investment as the key areas where Moscow and Riyadh could increasingly cooperate.
In 2015, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) reached an agreement. Riyadh pledged to invest $10 billion in projects carried out in Russia, making it the largest foreign investment in the country.
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