Russia warned today that the blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies would make it harder to reach a peaceful end to the war in Syria, after President Vladimir Putin discussed the crisis with Saudi King Salman. In a phone discussion, the two leaders "touched on the aggravated situation around Qatar, which unfortunately does not help consolidate joint efforts in resolving the conflict in Syria and fighting the terrorist threat," the Kremlin said in a statement after the call. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt said earlier this month that they had suspended ties with Qatar over the emirate's alleged support for extremists, banning all flights to and from Doha and shutting down the offices of the country's national carrier. As well as cutting air, sea and land links with Qatar, the countries ordered its citizens to leave within 14 days. The Kremlin said Putin and Salman also discussed developing ties in various areas and expressed an intention to "activate bilateral cooperation." Late last month, Putin met the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Moscow for talks on the Syrian conflict as well as cutting oil production.
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