October 13, 2019 / 9:55 AM / 2 months ago

CORRECTED-Putin says Russia can play key role in Middle East, has good Iran ties - Arabiya

(Corrects text to clarify Putin speaking ahead of visit to Saudi)

DUBAI, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia can play a key role in the Middle East as it has good relations with Iran and the Arab world.

He was speaking in an interview with Arab broadcasters, including Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV, ahead of his first visit to Saudi Arabia in more than a decade.

Putin said nobody in Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates wanted a confrontation with Iran. He also said Russia was working on a free trade zone with Israel and Egypt, similar to one between Russia and Iran. (Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli and Aziz El Yaakoubi Writing by Lisa Barrington Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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