Putin, Prince of Bahrain Discuss Mideast Issues

MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince of Bahrain Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa met in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss Middle East issues, including Syria, Iran and the Israeli-Palestininian situation.

“I’d like to talk with you about your vision of the situation in the region as a whole. I mean all the components of this rather complicated process: the Israeli-Palestinian settlement, the situation in Egypt – I am curious to know the opinion of your government,” Putin said.

The geopolitical situation in the region is “unbalanced,” Al Khalifa responded.

The Russian president said that while Russia and Bahrain “cannot boast of having large-scale economic relations,” the diplomatic and political relations between the two countries have always been very good.

According to Al-Khalifa, the King of Bahrain has requested Putin to do whatever is necessary to improve and intensify bilateral relations, adding that Russia and Bahrain have already achieved success in military and technical cooperation.

He said that the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company have signed a memorandum of understanding, and that Bahrain’s national airline will launch direct Moscow flights.

“I believe that it is the right time now … for us to develop and improve our relationship. I’m 44 years old and, to my shame, I can say that this is only my first visit to Russia. Your country is great. The Russian people, Russian culture, architecture and history have moved me,” the crown prince said.

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