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Bandar Failed to Bribe Russia to Abandon Syria

World-wide news reports said that Moscow has rejected a Saudi proposal to abandon Syria’s president in return for a huge arms deal and a pledge to help Moscow play a bigger role in the Middle East.

According to a well- informed European diplomat shuttling between Damascus and Beirut , "During the meeting at the Kremlin, Chief of the Saudi Intelligence Prince Bandar Bin Sultan  explained to his interlocutor that Riyadh is ready to help Moscow play a bigger role in the Middle East at a time when the United States is disengaging from the region."

 The Saudi prince also reassured Putin that "whatever regime comes after" Assad, it will be "completely" in the Saudis' hands and will not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports, the diplomat said.

Russia described news reports by Western media about the Saudi proposal to buy Russian weapons in the amount at $ 15 billion to bargain for a  change in  Russia's position on the situation in Syria as a kind of disinformation aimed at distorting Russia's principled position in Syria.

Vitaly Naomkan, director of the Orient Studies Institute  at the Russian Academy of Sciences said : "It is clear that the goal of this harangue information is to influence the position of Syria or more probable to discredit Russia , and plant doubt in the fact that Moscow takes a position about Syrian affairs that  creates the impression that Russia may change its views  in return for promises  from Saudi Arabia. "

Bandar proposed that Saudi Arabia buy $15 billion (11 billion euros) of weapons from Russia and invest “considerably in the country,” the source said.

The Saudi prince  is known for  his regular trips to Turkey to manage flow of arms and backup forces to Syria and he goes to Jordan to persuade security agencies with incentives to cooperate with him against Syrian government.

Bandar recent visit to  Moscow  aimed to negotiate in his capacity as the “Prince of the Mujahideen” in Syria, including those who hail from Chechnya, Dagestan, and the Caucasus in Russia’s backyard.

From Dagestan alone, more than a hundred fighters are enlisted in the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, which is active in northern
The Russian position  revealed the Russian answer to the offer proposed by  Chief of the Saudi intelligence Bandar bin Sultan  during his recent visit to Moscow on  a big  deal to buy Russia's weapons for change or mitigate the Russian position concerning  the crisis in Syria.

An Arab diplomat with contacts in Moscow said: "President Putin listened politely to his interlocutor and let him know that his country would not change its strategy."

"Bandar bin Sultan then let the Russians know that the only option left in Syria was military and that they should forget about Geneva because the opposition would not attend."

The Russian position in support of Syria  is not strange  and is  understood in the light in a position taken by Syria in   2009, when  President  Bashar Assad refused to sign an agreement with Qatar for an overland pipeline running from the Gulf to Europe via Syria to protect the interests of its Russian ally, which is Europe's top supplied of natural gas.

 In Syria, the Syrians  have full confident in their Russian partners with a general understanding that Saudi Arabia thinks that politics is a simple matter of buying people or countries. It doesn't understand that Russia is a major power and that this is not how it draws up policy."

 One Syrian politician laughed  at the Saudi offer noting  the deeply-rooted cooperation  relations: "Syria and Russia have had close ties for over half a century in all fields and it's not Saudi rials that will change this fact".


T. Fateh