Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud attends the 28th Ordinary Summit of the Arab League at the Dead Sea, Jordan March 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Hamed - RTX3365Q

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz met with the head of Russia’s upper house Sunday in a meeting that emphasized the two sides’ differences over the role of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a resolution to the Syrian civil war.
Valentina Matviyenko, who holds the third-highest political office in Russia, led a delegation of the Russian Federation Council to Riyadh and held talks with the 81-year-old monarch, Russian state-owned news agency Interfax reported. Saudi Arabia is a staunch backer of Syrian rebels attempting to overthrow Assad, while Russia has supported the Syrian president diplomatically since the beginning of the war and launched military operations in support of the Assad regime in September 2015.
A spokesman for the Russian delegation, Ilyas Umakhanov, told Interfax the Saudi king did not demand Assad’s immediate departure but that there was a certain amount of “leeway” on the matter. Umakhanov said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel …
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