Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed the Syrian crisis in a telephone call with Saudi King Salman.
Putin said Friday that he and the king “expressed interest in settling the Syrian crisis and ensuring stability and security in the entire region of the Middle East and North Africa.” Putin also reaffirmed his invitation for the king to visit Russia at a time that would be convenient for him.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency simply said that “diplomatic relations were discussed in addition to the review of the latest developments in the region.”
The talk between the two countries is important as both are playing a key role in the Syrian situation.
Hundreds are besieged by forces in Syrian cities without any food aids.
The World Food Program says it hopes aid deliveries to besieged areas of Syria were “not a one-off” convoy and will continue, as the U.N agency prepares an airdrop to reach 200,000 in a city surrounded by the Islamic State group.
WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher made the comments a day after the U.N. announced 114 trucks had delivered life-saving supplies over the previous 24 hours for 80,000 people in five besieged areas of Syria.
She said the WFP is preparing a “high-altitude” airdrop into the city of Deir el-Zour, whose residents are being besieged by IS fighters, in coordination with Syrian Arab Red Crescent operatives on the ground.
Luescher said Friday that “a WFP registered company” with experience in airdrops was expected to leave from as as-yet-undetermined country in the region.
The Syrian conflict broke in 2011 when protestors rebelled against the Syrian government led by Bashar-ul-Asaad. The rebellion was joined by Islamist groups like Al-Nusra and IS. Right now, half of the country is under the government’s hold and the other half under the rebels’.
Moscow and Shiite power Iran back embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Sunni-ruled kingdom of Saudi Arabia has supported Assad’s foes throughout the five-year conflict and says it is ready to send ground forces into the country.