Wed, 13 Nov 2019

Putin Arrives In U.A.E. For Investment Talks

RFE
15 Oct 2019, 22:15 GMT+10

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in the United Arab Emirates on his first visit to the Persian Gulf country in over a decade.

Putin flew into Abu Dhabi on October 15 from Saudi Arabia, and was met at the airport by Abu Dhabi's crown prince, Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

In Riyadh, Putin held talks with Saudi Arabia's king and crown prince as Moscow seeks to increase its presence across the Middle East.

Putin and King Salman presided over a signing ceremony on a string of billions of dollars of investment contracts between the two countries, targeting sectors such as aerospace, culture, health, and advanced technology.

The deals included an agreement to 'reinforce' cooperation among the so-called OPEC+ countries -- the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus 10 nonmembers of the cartel -- according to Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

Russia is not an OPEC member but it has worked closely with the group to limit supply and push up prices after a 2014 slump that wreaked havoc on the economies of Russia and cartel heavyweight Saudi Arabia.

During his meeting with Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, Putin said cooperation aimed to 'strengthen peace and stability in the region and to stabilize the global energy situation.'

Putin's first visit to the oil-rich state since 2007 comes as Moscow has failed to meet its 3 percent-growth goal for gross domestic product amid stinging Western sanctions.

It also comes amid rising tensions in the Persian Gulf after an attack on Saudi oil facilities last month that the United States, Saudi Arabia, and a number of Western countries have blamed on Iran, which denies involvement.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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