04:22 GMT27 February 2021
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    Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg on Thursday to discuss ties and confirm the Saudi King's upcoming visit.

    Saudi Defense Minister, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman met Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday and discussed ties.

    The crown prince also said that Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has accepted the invitation to visit Russia and in turn, invited Putin to visit Saudi Arabia. The prince's arrival marks the first visit since relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia soured after the conflict in Syria began in 2011, where Saudi Arabia supported the anti-government rebels.

    "The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques [King Salman] confirms that he accepts the invitation to visit Russia," Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman said.

    Putin responded that he accepts the offer "with pleasure." The Russian president last visited Saudi Arabia in 2007. Saudi representatives at the exposition also expressed interest in buying entire ships as well as Iskander missile launchers and telecommunications equipment.

    "The visit is very important and will determine future prospects, as well as opportunities to advance strategic relations based on a solid foundation and mutual respect which can change the paradigm and begin a new era in relations between the two countries," Saudi Arabian ambassador to Russia Abdulrahman al-Rassi said ahead of the visit.


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    visit, bilateral relations, St.Petersburg International Economic Forum, Muhammad bin Salman, Salman bin Abdulaziz, Vladimir Putin, Russia, Saint Petersburg
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