Saudi Arabia and Russia pledge co-operation on oil and call for Gaza ceasefire

Vladimir Putin visited Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh this week

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before their talks in Riyadh. AFP
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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have agreed to work together in several sectors.

The agreement was reached during Mr Putin's visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday evening, following his state visit to the UAE earlier in the day.

Russia and Saudi Arabia will now enhance their co-operation in the oil and gas sector, as well as in other fields including food security, space exploration, tourism and health.

Mr Putin was received by Prince Mohammed at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

"[They] held an official session of talks, during which they reviewed the historical and strategic relations between the two friendly countries, and ways to develop them in all fields," the SPA said.

"Views were exchanged on the overall current regional and international situations."

Mr Putin congratulated Saudi Arabia on recently being selected as the hosts for Expo2030, which will be held in Riyadh.

"The two sides stressed their keenness to continue working to enhance mutual and joint investments in the two countries, enable the private sector, exchange visits, hold joint investment forums and events, develop the investment-attractive environment, provide the necessary enablers, and solve any challenges in this field," the SPA said.

Russia also welcomed the resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

"Regarding defence and security, the two sides agreed to enhance defence co-operation, in a way that supports and achieves common interests between the two countries," the SPA reported.

"They affirmed their desire to strengthen existing security co-operation and co-ordination on issues of common interest, including combating crime in all its forms, combating terrorism and extremism and their financing, and exchanging information to confront terrorist organisations, in a way that achieves security and stability in the two countries."

The war between Israel and Gaza was also discussed during the meeting between Prince Mohammed and Mr Putin, leading to calls for a ceasefire.

"The two sides discussed developments in the situation in Palestine, expressed their deep concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, and stressed the need to stop military operations in the Palestinian territories, and the need to protect civilians in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law," the SPA reported.

"They stressed the need to enable international humanitarian organisations to play their role in providing humanitarian and relief aid to the Palestinian people."

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine was another topic of discussion.

"Regarding the crisis in Ukraine, the Russian side expressed its appreciation for the humanitarian and political efforts undertaken by Prince Mohammed including the release of a number of prisoners of different nationalities, and the ongoing efforts in this regard," the SPA said.

Updated: December 29, 2023, 9:23 AM