Saudi Arabia hands Medvedev 'message from king'

25th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister on Friday handed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev a message from Saudi King Abdullah in a surprise closed-door meeting in the Kremlin.

Prince Saud al-Faisal gave Medvedev the "personal message" at a meeting also attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Medvedev's foreign policy advisor Sergei Prikhodko, the Kremlin said.

No further details over the contents of the message or the meeting itself were disclosed in the Kremlin statement. Prince Saud's visit had also not been announced in advance by the Russian side.

The Kremlin published an image of Prince Saud, dressed in a suit, shaking hands with Medvedev.

Russia, a major supplier of arms to the Arab world, has been concerned about what impact the revolts in the Middle East will have on its weapons industry.

Officials warned that the UN sanctions against Libya will cost the Russian weapons industry $4.0 billion, but Medvedev also ensured Russia refrained from using its veto on the UN resolution allowing military action in Libya.

Prince Saud's visit also came in the same week as Medvedev received Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

© 2011 AFP

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