Quatar Russia Vladimir putin Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.jpg
Photograph: EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

Qatar's leader told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that Moscow plays a fundamental role in maintaining global stability.

"Russia's role today is at the basis of what concerns stability in the world, and we very much want to develop relations with Russia and find solutions to a number of problems concerning stability in several countries in our region," Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said in Moscow, according to a Kremlin transcript.

The Qatari leader said his country would like to build economic collaboration, particularly regarding natural gas and direct foreign investments in the Russian economy.

The sheikh said earlier in the day that his country supports Russia's role in trying to resolve the Syrian conflict through political means.

"We believe that Russia plays a big role in the world, especially in the Middle East," he said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

Russia began a military intervention in Syria in September to support President Bashar al-Assad. Conversely, Qatar has backed some rebel forces opposing al-Assad.

"We have spoken out in favour of a political settlement in Syria since the very first day. We support all international organizations that seek a political solution in Syria," Qatar's leader was quoted as telling Sergei Naryshkin, the speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament.

He was in Moscow on his first official visit since becoming Qatar's emir in 2013.

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