Vladimir Putin was pictured alongside President Erdogan, Xi Jinping and the Emir of Qatar as he flew into Tajikistan for a summit.
The Russian President attended the summit with other world leaders as he attempts to cultivate closer ties with China and the Middle East as amid growing tensions with the US.
Putin was pictured shaking hands with Xi and enjoying an informal chat with Erdogan as the conference kicked off on Saturday.
It comes in the same week the US accused Iran of carrying out Thursday’s attacks on two oil tankers in a vital oil shipping route at the mouth of the Gulf. Tehran has denied having any role.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, toasts with Chinese President Xi Jinping prior to the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia on Saturday
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) talks with Putin at an unofficial meeting during the conference
The conference in Tajikistan is aimed at creating a closer relationship between Asian and Middle Eastern nations
Yesterday afternoon Putin was also pictured meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani amid his spat with Donald Trump.
Rouhani said Saturday it will continue scaling back compliance with a nuclear deal unless other signatories to the pact show ‘positive signals’.
Iran stopped complying in May with some commitments in the 2015 nuclear deal that was agreed with global powers, after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018 and ratcheted up sanctions on Tehran.
‘Obviously, Iran cannot stick to this agreement unilaterally,’ President Hassan Rouhani told Russian, Chinese and other Asian leaders at a conference in Tajikistan.
Rouhani did not refer to this week’s tanker incident in his speech to the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, behind held in the Tajik capital Dushanbe.
‘It is necessary that all the sides of this agreement contribute to restoring it,’ he said, adding that Iran needed to see ‘positive signals’ from other signatories to the pact, which include Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
He did not give details on what actions Iran would take or say what positive signals Tehran wanted to see.
Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar and Putin during a bilateral meeting at the Navruz Palace
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani (left) and Putin shake hands as they meet on the sidelines of the conference on Friday
Rouhani has been embroiled in a war of words with President Trump this week after Iran was blamed for an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would adhere to the agreement and urged other signatories to follow suit.
‘We believe that the only sensible decision is for all deal participants to honour commitments,’ Putin told the conference.
Tehran said in May that Iran would start enriching uranium at a higher level, unless world powers protected its economy from U.S. sanctions within 60 days.
Washington has ratcheted up pressure on Iran, saying it wants to prevent Tehran developing a nuclear bomb, rein in its ballistic missile programme and end what the it calls Iranian meddling in the Middle East.
Tehran has said its nuclear programme is peaceful and will not be stopped, says its missile work is for defence and accuses the United States of destabilising the region.
France and other European signatories to the nuclear deal that aimed to curb Iran’s nuclear work, have said they wanted to save the accord, but many of their companies have cancelled deals with Tehran, under pressure from the United States.
As well as the official photoshoot on Saturday, Putin took the time to help President Xi celebrate his birthday by serving him ice cream.
The discussion of senior leaders’ private lives is extremely rare in China, and the exact birth dates of most of them are not revealed publicly, as they are considered a state secret.
State television showed pictures of Xi, 66, and Putin holding up champagne glasses to toast Xi’s birthday at the hotel he is staying at in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, where they are both attending a regional summit.
While Putin gave Xi Russian ice cream – the flavour was not mentioned – Xi gave Putin back some Chinese tea, the report said.
Putin congratulates China’s President Xi Jinping on his 66th birthday by presenting him with ice cream
The discussion of senior leaders’ private lives is extremely rare in China, and the exact birth dates of most of them are not revealed publicly
Xi thanked Putin and said that in China Putin was extremely popular, it added.
Pictures on Chinese state television’s website showed the two men inspecting a white cake decorated with red and blue confectionary flowers with the words written on it, in somewhat shaky red-coloured Chinese characters, ‘good fortune double six’.
President Trump accused Iran on Friday of attacking the oil tankers and warned Tehran that he doesn’t take the aggressive move lightly.
‘Iran did do it,’ Trump said on ‘Fox & Friends’ when during a phone interview with the morning cable news show.
He advised Iran’s mullahs that the U.S. could see evidence of the attack, citing grainy video footage released Thursday that the American military claimed shows Iranian vessels retrieving an unexploded mine from one of the damaged ships.
‘You saw the boat, one to have mines didn’t explode and it has Iran written all over it. Successfully took the mine off the boat and that was exposed. They didn’t want the evidence left behind. They don’t know that we have things that we can detect in the dark that work very well. We have that. It was them that did it,’ Trump said.
But Trump didn’t offer details when pressed on how the United States would respond.
‘We’re gonna see. We’re gonna see how to stop,’ he said.
‘We’ll see what happens. We don’t take it lightly, that I can tell you,’ he added.
President Donald Trump has accused Iran of attacking the tankers, one of which erupted in a fireball on Thursday
An oil tanker was pictured Thursday on fire in the sea of Oman near the strategic Strait of Hormuz after an attack that left it ablaze and adrift while sailors were evacuated