Putin Begins Trip to Mideast

Putin Begins Trip to Mideast

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has landed in Saudi Arabia on a trip to the kingdom.

Putin's plane landed just after 1:30 p.m. Monday in Riyadh. An honor guard of Saudi soldiers greeted Putin as he came down the stairs of his plane.

Putin's visit comes after King Salman traveled to Moscow on a state visit in October 2017. It also comes as the kingdom tries to strike a closer relationship with Russia, especially as it has joined OPEC in limiting its oil production to help boost global energy prices.

Russia along with Iran meanwhile has aided Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom the kingdom long opposed in his country's civil war.

Putin also will visit the United Arab Emirates on his Mideast trip.

(KR)