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Leaked transcripts of a closed-door meeting between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan shed an extraordinary light on the hard-nosed Realpolitik of the two sides.
Prince Bandar, head of Saudi intelligence, allegedly confronted the Kremlin with a mix of inducements and threats in a bid to break the deadlock over Syria. "Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets," he said at the four-hour meeting with Mr Putin. They met at Mr Putin’s dacha outside Moscow three weeks ago.
"We understand Russia’s great interest in the oil and gas in the Mediterranean from Israel to Cyprus. And we understand the importance of the Russian gas pipeline to Europe. We are not interested in competing with that. We can cooperate in this area," he said, purporting to speak with the full backing of the US.
The talks appear to offer an alliance between the OPEC cartel and Russia, which together produce over 40m barrels a day of oil, 45pc of global output. Such a move would alter the strategic landscape.
The details of the talks were first leaked to the Russian press. A more detailed version has since appeared in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, which has Hezbollah links and is hostile to the Saudis.
As-Safir said Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. "I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us," he allegedly said.
Prince Bandar went on to say that Chechens operating in Syria were a pressure tool that could be switched on an off. "These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role in Syria’s political future."
Originally posted by OtherSideOfTheCoin
That said however I would not call Saudi Arabia a "state sponsor of terrorism", that implies that people in senior government roles are backing terrorism.
Rather I think that there are lots of very wealthy people in Saudi Arabia with government connections who are sympathetic to groups like Al-Qa'ida (particularly before 9/11) and as such provide them with generous financial backing. The Saudi state does not want to admit to this as it is a bit of a embarrassment for them and the West don't want to dig to far when they need all that oil.
Originally posted by Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by ipsedixit
I am not saying you aren't right or anything, but if there is a "Growing Consensus" about terrorism in SA.....Your main arguement here is about 9/11.....What if it wasn't them? Does this invalidate this consensus?
One more thing.....If this is a "Growing Consensus" how is it growing? This information is based off of an attack from 2001....Shouldn't it be full grown long ago?? Or are "they" just pointing out the next boogeyman? Not saying one way or the other, just asking what you think about this all?
Considering their hardline religious outlook, it's been intimated to me on several occasions that if you want their money, there are specific strings attached.