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Russian officials meet Saudi crown prince to discuss Syria

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By Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian delegation of foreign and defence ministry officials travelled to Saudi Arabia and met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the crisis in Syria, the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry said the two-day visit started on Sunday.

The delegation from Russia, whose influence in the Middle East has risen after it launched a military intervention in Syria in 2015, also held talks in Saudi Arabia with Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, the ministry said.

Talks touched on the Middle East in general and on north Africa, but focused particularly on Syria, it said in a statement.

Riyadh’s traditionally close ties with the West are under strain over the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

The ministry made no reference to talks on the matter.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Writing by Andrey Kuzmin and Tom Balmforth; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)