Western diplomatic sources have confirmed that talks held between the head of Saudi intelligence Prince Bandar Bin Abdul Aziz and Russian President Vladimir Putin yielded a positive breakthrough regarding a transitional stage in post-Assad Syria.
Contrary to what has been published about the meeting, sources say, the talks were not about an armament deal in which Saudi Arabia would purchase Russian weapons in turn for giving up support for Assad.
In fact, they say, Saudi Arabia confirmed with Putin that any new regime in Syria will maintain Russian resources in the country, including the military base in the port of Tartous.
According to the same sources, Putin agreed on that in the case of Assad stepping down, Firas Tlass, the son of former Syrian defense minister Mustafa Tlass, would take over power in the transitional period.
Firas Tlass is a prominent businessman who joined the revolution as his brother Manaf Tlass defected from regime's army to join the Free Syrian Army.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer