King Salman and Vladimir Putin attend the official welcome ceremony in Riyadh on Monday. Alexander Zemlianichenko / AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin travelled to Saudi Arabia on Monday, meeting with Saudi King and Crown Prince as he seeks to cement Moscow's political and energy ties across the Mideast.
Putin received all the trappings of a state visit, with a mounted guard escorting his limousine to King Salman's Al Yamamah palace in Riyadh on his first visit to the kingdom since 2007.
Putin listened to a Saudi military band play Russia's national anthem, then greeted officials and sat with King Salman for a conversation captured by state television. Earlier, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman walked up to greet Putin on his arrival.
The crown prince later engaged in a conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Keeping Russia with the oil cartel, an arrangement now known as OPEC+, appeared likely to top discussions.
Saudi Arabia likely also wants to talk about ongoing tensions gripping the wider Middle East.
Saudi Arabia remains worried about Iran. Since President Donald Trump pulled out of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers over a year ago, risks have risen in the Arabian Gulf.
Since the summer, a series of attacks have targeted oil tankers in the region.
These attacks culminated in a Sept.14 drone-and-cruise-missile assault that knocked out half of Saudi Arabia's oil production.
The US blames Iran for the attack.
Putin also praised his talks with the presidents of Iran and Turkey, speaking after a three-way summit on the Syrian conflict overshadowed by Moscow's intervention in Ukraine.
A five-day pause in Turkey's cross-border military offensive to allow the withdrawal of Kurdish YPG fighters from the border area expires at 10 pm (1900 GMT) on Tuesday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants Syrian government forces to move out of areas near the Turkish border so he can resettle up to 2 million refugees there, his spokesman told the media Press on Saturday.
Featuring more than 200 distinguished local and international calligraphers and artists, the Biennale seeks to underscore the significance of calligraphy as a powerful medium for cultural expression.
Last month, the government in Sindh introduced a bill that would imprison parents for up to one month if they fail to get their children immunised against polio or eight other common diseases.
Sharjah Police arrested an Arab national who deceived women by promoting home massage services in return for cheap prices through a social media platform, for the purpose of blackmail and threats to obtain money.