News Briefs

  8/8/2013, Elul 2, 5773

Saudis Offer Russia Incentives to Stop Supporting Assad

Saudi Arabia offered Russia economic incentives if Moscow scales back its support for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Middle East sources and Western diplomats said on Wednesday. The proposed deal was reportedly set out by Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week, the diplomats said.

Syrian opposition sources close to Saudi Arabia said Prince Bandar offered to buy up to $15 billion of Russian weapons as well as ensuring that Gulf gas would not threaten Russia's position as a main gas supplier to Europe. In return, Saudi Arabia wanted Moscow to ease its strong support of Assad and agree not to block any future Security Council Resolution on Syria.