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Russian President Vladimir Putin met Saudi Arabia’s defense minister on Sunday, in Moscow’s biggest attempt so far to reach out to enemies of Syria’s President Bashar Assad since Russia joined the conflict with airstrikes.

Speaking after the meeting between Putin and Sheikh Mohammed bin Salman, a son of the Saudi king, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said both countries were willing to cooperate in Syria and wanted to prevent the formation of a “terrorist caliphate.

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