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Putin, Saudi Arabia king discuss Syria crisis — Kremlin

February 19, 2016, 12:39 UTC+3

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud held a phone conversation and called for resolving the crisis in Syria

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Damaged buildings in Homs, Syria

Damaged buildings in Homs, Syria

© AP Photo

MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in a phone conversation called for resolving the crisis in Syria, the Kremlin press service said on Friday.

"During the conversation, interest was shown in resolving the crisis in Syria, ensuring stability and security in the entire Middle East region and Northern Africa," the press service said.

Putin confirmed the invitation for Saudi Arabia's king to "visit Russia any convenient time."

The leaders congratulated each other on the 90th anniversary marking the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. "Mutual intention was expressed to further build up the Russian-Saudi cooperation in all the areas," the Kremlin stressed.

"Everyone, including Russia, is interested in preserving the territorial and political integrity of all countries in the region, including Syria," Peskov said.

He added that "everyone, including (Russian President Vladimir) Putin proceed from the assumption that there is no alternative to a political solution of the problem." "At the same time, I will remind Putin’s statement from the day before yesterday saying that it is necessary to defeat terrorists in order to resolve the crisis," he noted.

Russian envoy to the United Nations Organization Vitaly Churkin said earlier that if the Syrian authorities do not agree to a ceasefire, this can result in the fact that the armed conflict in the country will last "very, very long."

"If the Syrian authorities, despite the internal political situation and the propaganda policy which they need to pursue, follow Russia’s lead in resolving this crisis, they will have a chance to get out of the crisis with dignity," Churkin said. ""If somehow they stray from this path - and again this is my personal assessment - a very difficult situation could emerge, including for themselves. Whatever capabilities the Syrian army has, the effective operation of the Russian Aerospace Forces made it possible for it to hurl the enemy back from Damascus," he added.

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