Skip to main content

Moscow's revolving door of Arab monarchs, Syrian opposition

Russia continues to navigate the complex process of tackling the Syria crisis, slating Damascus as a hopeful ally against the Islamic State.
Read in 

Russia is decidedly stepping up its Middle East policy, as evidenced, for example, by the number of visits to Moscow already held or planned for this year by heads of Arab states. The rulers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan, and the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, are expected to visit Russia before the end of 2015. Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud’s upcoming visit to Moscow this year is of particular importance, as it indicates Riyadh’s serious intention to improve relations with Russia. As is widely known, Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted the Saudi king’s invitation to visit Riyadh.

An impressive number of leaders of various Syrian opposition groups also visited Moscow this month. The consultations did not reveal any fundamental change in the Kremlin’s Syria policy, but they did reveal the willingness of Russian diplomacy to have more frequent contact with the opposition.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.