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Russian, Saudi Leaders Discuss Qatar Row In Phone Call

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President Putin and King Salman agree situation around Qatar 'unfortunately' does not contribute to joint efforts in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud over the phone on Tuesday as the diplomatic crisis among some Arab countries with Qatar continued.

The two leaders exchanged views on the developments in the Middle East and North Africa, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin and King Salman agreed the situation around Qatar "unfortunately" does not contribute to the consolidation of joint efforts in the Syrian settlement and the fight against terrorist threat, it said.

They will continue contact at various levels, it added.

On June 5, five Arab countries -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the U.A.E., Bahrain and Yemen -- abruptly cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.

Mauritania followed suit shortly afterward, while Jordan downgraded its diplomatic relations with Doha.

Qatar, for its part, strenuously denies the accusations, calling the moves to diplomatically isolate it as “unjustified”.

Saudi Arabia has also sealed its land borders with Qatar, geographically isolating the tiny Gulf state.

Following the row, Moscow had said it would continue to maintain "good" ties with the Persian Gulf states and expects the situation to defuse in a "peaceful" atmosphere.

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