Persian Gulf states and Russia to discuss Syrian issue

The foreign ministers of Russia and member countries of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council will meet in Al Riyadh in November to discuss the situation in Syria, Veniamin Popov, the Russian president's envoy for contacts with OIC and other international Islamic organizations, told the Voice of Russia radio station.

"We have agreed to hold the next meeting of our foreign ministers in November - strategic dialogue with [Persian] Gulf countries. It will take place in Al Riyadh in the format of the Gulf's six states and Russia. I think that it will be an important milestone along the path toward our further cooperation. The meeting will be held after the [presidential] elections in the U.S. I expect the situation in Syria to be discussed there as well," he said.

The general attitude toward Moscow's approach to the Syrian issue has started to change, he said.

"They have started to understand Russia, which faces practically no criticism. There is a broad understanding of the need to secure a political settlement, which cannot be done without Russia and China. It is understood that the balance of forces is changing in the world," Popov said.

The Persian Gulf Cooperation Council includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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