Russian President Vladimir Putin said any new constitution that is drawn up for Syria should guarantee the rights of all ethnic and religions groups.

He was speaking in an interview with Arab broadcasters, including Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV, ahead of his first visit to Saudi Arabia in over a decade.

He said that Syrians “interact positively” with Russian military police and military stationed in the country and that most military police in Syria are Muslims drawn from Russia’s north Caucasus region. Russia has been a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his war with rebels and militants.

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