Escalating embarrassment: stairway glitch leaves king stranded

Escalating embarrassment: stairway glitch leaves king stranded
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First world problems caused a hiccup for Saudi Arabia’s king as he arrived to meet Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.

King Salman was coming down an escalator from his plane – see video, above – when it suddenly grinded to a halt.

The footage shows at least two of the soldiers there to salute him on the tarmac smiling as the king is left momentarily stranded.

The monarch, who was expected to discuss oil production co-operation with Putin, then walks down the unresponsive escalator.

The visit reflects a rapid deepening of ties between Russia and Saudi Arabia, driven by a mutual need to stem a drop in global oil prices.

The two countries helped secure a deal between OPEC and other producers to cut output until the end of March 2018, but back competing sides in Syria’s civil war.

Riyadh supports rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces while Russian troops and Iranian militias have sided with Assad. This leaves Moscow aligned with Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran, whose influence Riyadh fears is growing in the region.

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