Bilateral meetings between top leaders of countries are usually solemn affairs, but a lighter moment was witnessed when Russia President Vladimir Putin presented a falcon to Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Monday. The bird of prey apparently defecated as it was being presented to the Saudi king.
In the viral footage recorded at the royal palace in Riyadh, Putin is seen carrying on a conversation with King Salman while reaching out to pet the exotic bird's plumage. As soon as he removes his hand, from the bird's feathers, the gyrfalcon proceeds to excrete onto the carpet, laid out especially for the press event.
The bird, called Alpha, was Putin's gift to King Salman during his first visit to Saudi Arabia in more than a decade. In return, he received a painting from King Salman. Presenting a falcon as a gift is not unusual in the Kingdom as as hunting with birds of prey is one of the favorite sports of Saudi princes.
President #Putin presents Arctic Falcon to Saudi king bin salman.#SaudiArabia pic.twitter.com/QTyYzpPjgf— Munawwarkhan (@munawwarkhan581) October 14, 2019
During his visit, he also met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with whom Putin said he has a friendly relationship. Russia and Saudi Arabia both said that bilateral relations were important to regional security and stability. Their political interactions touched on crucial subjects such as conflicts in Syria and Yemen, which led to discussions about their joint investments in the areas. Prince Mohammed said Saudi-Russian cooperation on energy was vital in achieving stability.
The visit to Riyadh was part of Putin's Middle Eastern tour. Next, he traveled to the United Arab Emirates to meet with Abu Dhabi's powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who received him at the airport before traveling with him to the Qasr Al Watan palace, Daily Mail reported. It was a sight to behold as they arrived with troops on horsebacks that guarded their limousine. Apart from that, military jets flew overhead, leaving a plume of smoke in the air the color of the Russian flag.