Putin to begin 'historic' visit in Saudi Arabia

In the first trip to Saudi Arabia by a Russian leader, President Vladimir Putin is expected to discuss with top Saudi officials the region's hotspots as well as economic and military cooperation during his visit to the kingdom. Saudi officials and the country's state-guided media have described Putin's visit as historic, highlighting Moscow's clout as a UN Security Council member, one of the so-called Quartet members - which also includes the US, the EU and the United Nations - that drafted the "road map" plan for Middle East peace and a significant player in the oil and gas market. "The visit is a turning point because we will see lots of development in cooperation politically, economically and militarily," said a Saudi official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he could not discuss the visit on the record. "We want to improve relations with them, and they want to improve relations with us," he added.