An excerpt from, "Moscow rejects Saudi offer to drop Assad for arms deal" by Sammy Ketz, AFP, August 8:
Moscow has rejected a Saudi proposal to abandon Syria's president in return for a huge arms deal and a pledge to boost Russian influence in the Arab world, diplomats told AFP.
On July 31, President Vladimir Putin, a strong backer of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, met Saudi Arabia's influential intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, after which both Moscow and Riyadh kept a lid on the substance of the talks.
"Every two years, Bandar bin Sultan meets his Russian counterparts, but this time, he wanted to meet the head of state," said a European diplomat who shuttles between Beirut and Damascus.
"During the meeting at the Kremlin, the Saudi official 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."
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 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.
An excerpt from, "Putin Laughs At Saudi Offer To Betray Syria In Exchange For "Huge" Arms Deal" by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, August 8:
One of the more surprising news to hit the tape yesterday was that Saudi Arabia, exasperated and desperate by Russia's relentless support of the Syrian regime and refusal to abandon the Syrian army thus facilitating the Qatari plan to pass its natgas pipeline to Europe under Syria, had quietly approached Putin with a proposal for a huge arms deal and a pledge to boost Russian influence in the Arab world if only Putin would abandon Syria's Assad. It will hardly come as a surprise to anyone that in the aftermath of yesterday's dilettante mistake by Obama which alienated Putin from the western world (and its subservient states such as Saudi Arabia of course), has just said no. It will certainly come as no surprise because as we explained previously, the biggest loser from Russia abandoning Syria (something we predicted would never happen) would be none other than Russia's most important company - Gazprom - which would lose its energy grip over Europe as Qatar replaced it as a nat gas vendor. What is shocking in all of this is that Saudi Arabia was so stupid and/or naive to believe that Putin would voluntarily cede geopolitical control over the insolvent Eurozone, where he has more influence according to some than even the ECB, or Bernanke. Especially in the winter.
Colonel Patrick Lang:
Well, you have to admire Prince Bandar's straightforwardness. No false platitudes about self-determination or freedom. Just a simple bribe attempt between nations… the bastards! Let's face it. Saudi money is at the root of a great deal of the problems we face. A lot of dangerous Salafist movements would be nothing more than angry men in a mosque without Saudi money. I wouldn't be at all saddened by a massive hack of Saudi financial networks that reduces their spending cash. Don't collapse the economy, just take away their ability for discretionary spending. It could be the Iranians, Hezbollah, or even our CYBERCOM and NSA. Just do it and be quiet about it.
Putin's Reaction To Bandar Bush: