From Pariah to Partner: The Rise of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

The Saudi Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has turned from a “pariah” into a “partner”, and the newspaper described him as “The New York TimesIn a lengthy report published on Saturday, he described him as “the Saudi leader who defied threats to remove him.”

The newspaper said, “Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has repeatedly benefited from Saudi Arabia’s wealth and influence to overcome international condemnations of the kingdom’s human rights violations.”

It stated that the US President, Joe Biden, pledged during his quest for the presidency of the White House to make the Saudi crown prince an “outcast” after the killing and dismemberment of (Jamal Khashoggi). Last fall, the prince again threatened “consequences” for defying America’s wishes on oil policy.

Previously, senior Republican senator Lindsey Graham described Prince Mohammed, the de facto ruler of the oil-rich kingdom, as a “wrecking ball” who “cannot be a leader on the world stage”. Guy Monahan, president of golf’s prestigious PGA Tour organization, said he believed players who joined a competitive Saudi-backed league had betrayed the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which were carried out by kidnappers, most of them Saudi citizens.

But soon after that, changes took place, and Biden visited Saudi Arabia last year, and he regularly sent officials to meet the crown prince, including his foreign minister, Anthony Blinken, a few days ago. Senator Graham smiled broadly beside the prince during a visit to Saudi Arabia last April. Also this week, a surprise hit the golf world by Monahan who announced a partnership between the PGA and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League, suddenly giving the kingdom massive global influence on the sport.

“It just tells you about the power and effectiveness of money, because this guy (Prince Mohammed) runs the oil wells and he has all this money, so he can To buy his way out of everything.”

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Time and time again, throughout his eight years of ascension to power, Prince Mohammed, 37, defied expectations that his rule was in danger while taking advantage of the kingdom’s wealth, control of oil markets, and importance among Arab and Islamic countries to avoid repeated threats and punish him with international isolation.

Analysts and officials told the newspaper that during this period, (Prince Muhammad) not only refined his vision of the future of Saudi Arabia as a resolute regional power with a growing economy and increasing political influence, but also learned lessons from his setbacks to refine his methods to achieve his goals.

“For the time being, at least, it appears to be advancing significantly to the top,” the newspaper noted.

The strong demand for oil in recent years has filled the coffers of Saudi Arabia, and it bought the English club Newcastle United, and brought Cristiano Ronaldo and then Karim Benzema to play in the local league, and it is trying to attract other international stars as well.

If the golf deal goes ahead, a close aide to Prince Mohammed bin Salman would become one of the most powerful figures in the sport, giving Saudi Arabia another major platform to reshape its international image.

In recent years, heads of state from Turkey to the United States have met him, and they had previously refused to meet Prince Mohammed, on the grounds that he represented the future of Saudi Arabia. He has worked to deepen the kingdom’s ties with China, helping broker a diplomatic breakthrough between Saudi Arabia and Iran, longtime regional rivals.

It all represents major progress for a young prince who was widely seen as a dangerous upstart after his father became king in 2015.

In the same year, Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a military campaign in Yemen that caused the death of a large number of civilians, and he sank into this quagmire. He later shocked the diplomatic community by “kidnapping the Prime Minister of Lebanon (Saad Hariri),” according to the newspaper, and stunned the business community by locking up hundreds of wealthy Saudis for weeks on end in a luxury hotel as part of an alleged anti-corruption campaign.

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His international standing fell sharply in 2018, after a Saudi assassination squad killed dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi and dismembered him inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. Prince Mohammed bin Salman denied any prior knowledge of this, but the CIA concluded that he likely ordered the operation.

The newspaper pointed out that this period “may have been the lowest point” that Prince Muhammad reaches, but in the years that followed, the crown prince regained much of his influence, with the help of his country’s enormous wealth and power.

newspaper reportedWashington PostAccording to the leaked confidential “Discord” documents, the Saudi crown prince threatened to inflict great economic pain on the United States if Washington retaliated against the decision of the “OPEC Plus” alliance to reduce oil production last fall.

According to what the newspaper reported about the leaked documents, Prince Mohammed bin Salman hinted at a radical change in Saudi-American relations that had lasted for decades, saying that he would “no longer deal with the US administration” and promised “significant economic consequences for Washington.”

The secret documents reported by the Washington Post were published over the past months on the Discord app as part of a large-scale leak of highly sensitive documents related to US national security.

The US authorities accuse Jacques Teixeira, a 21-year-old member of the National Guard who was arrested last April, of publishing these classified military documents on the Internet.

Last year, US President Joe Biden pledged to impose “consequences” on Saudi Arabia after the decision of the oil producers’ alliance led by Riyadh and Moscow to reduce black crude production, amid rising energy prices as the midterm elections approach in the United States.

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But after 8 months, Biden has not imposed consequences on the oil-rich Gulf kingdom yet, and senior US officials have continued to communicate with their Saudi counterparts, including US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who concluded his trip to Riyadh, Thursday, after he met the Saudi crown prince. .

A US official said that Blinken met with Prince Mohammed early Wednesday, and they discussed a wide range of bilateral issues in “open and frank” talks, according to Reuters.

Blinken arrived in Saudi Arabia late on Tuesday evening, amid strained relations as a result of deepening differences over issues including the Iran file, regional security, oil prices and human rights.

Washington seeks to stabilize its relations with Riyadh in light of the control of Prince Muhammad, the de facto ruler of the Kingdom, over the decision-making process and the collapse of the oil-for-traditional security alliance with the emergence of the United States as a major oil producer.

Blinken’s visit came days after Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter of crude oil, pledged to further cut production in addition to what was approved within a broader OPEC + agreement to reduce supplies, at a time when it seeks to support falling oil prices despite the opposition of the US administration.

A US official said that Blinken and the Saudi crown prince met for an hour and 40 minutes and discussed issues including Israel, the conflict in Yemen, the unrest in Sudan and human rights.

“There has been a good degree of convergence on potential initiatives that we share an interest in while also recognizing that we have differences,” the US official said.

2023-06-10 13:32:28
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