Saudi king arrives in Moscow on historic 1st visit to Russia

Saudi King Salman reviews a honor guards upon arrival in Moscow's Government Vnukovo airport, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. The King's visit is the first trip to Russia by a sitting Saudi monarch. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

MOSCOW (AP) — Saudi King Salman has arrived in Moscow on the first-ever visit by a Saudi monarch to Russia.

As part of the four-day trip that began Wednesday, the king is to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks expected to focus on the global oil market and the Syrian crisis.

Ties between the two countries often have been strained in the past. The war in Syria, in which Russia has staunchly backed Syrian President Bashar Assad while Saudi Arabia has supported his foes, has fueled tensions.

Relations have begun to improve in recent years. A thaw between Moscow and Riyadh helped reach November’s deal in which OPEC and 10 other oil-producing countries, including Russia, agreed to cut their production in a bid to combat a supply glut.