UAE leader welcomes “dear friend” Putin

The Russian president will discuss bilateral ties and the situation in the Middle East during his visit, the Kremlin has said.

Vladimir Putin’s plane has landed in Abu Dhabi for the Russian leader’s first trip to the United Arab Emirates since 2019.

At the beginning of their meeting, UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan called Putin a “dear friend,” saying that he was “happy” to see his Russian counterpart again. The two leaders last met in June at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), where the UAE head of state was the guest of honor.

Putin pointed out that relations between Moscow and Abu Dhabi had recently reached “an unprecedentedly high level,” describing the UAE as Russia’s largest trading partner in the Arab world.

Emirati military jets drew the Russian tricolor in the skies above the nation’s capital to herald Putin’s arrival.

Camel riders and horse-mounted officers greeted Putin’s motorcade as it made its way from the airport to the presidential palace.

The Kremlin said earlier that the leaders of the two countries will discuss “the prospects for further development of multifaceted Russia-UAE cooperation, as well as pressing international issues with the emphasis on the situation in the Middle East.

The negotiations in Abu Dhabi will take place in both extended and one-on-one formats, according to Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov. The high-profile Russian delegation also includes Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak, Trade Minister Denis Manturov, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, and the heads of the country’s atomic and space agencies.

After Putin concludes his program in Abu Dhabi, he is scheduled to travel to Riyadh for talks with the king and crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

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