Meet Mohammed Bin Salman: The Next Ruler Of Saudi Arabia

Evrard Martin
Juin 25, 2017

Qatar's emir congratulated Saudi Arabia's newly-appointed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman yesterday and called for "brotherly relations" between the two countries, now locked in a bitter diplomatic dispute. He has also introduced live entertainment such as concerts and comedy shows into conservative Saudi Arabia. Our security and intelligence cooperation is vital as we tackle the shared threat of terrorism and our growing trade and investment ties are important for the prosperity of all our citizens.

Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is widely known as "MBS", has ruled out the option of dialogue with chief rival Iran, and promised to defend his kingdom from what he described as Tehran's moves to rule the Muslim world.

On Wednesday, Trump discussed the Qatar row with Saudi Arabia's newly-appointed crown prince, on a call during which he also offered his congratulations to the new heir to the throne.

The Vision 2030 plan launched by the Prince a year ago seeks to end the country's dependence on oil, reform its finances and encourage private enterprise.

The reasons for the demotions are unclear, but bin Nayef is viewed as being close to the rulers of Qatar, and Saudi Arabia is now leading a campaign to isolate and punish Qatar for its alleged support for extremists and for Riyadh's nemesis, the regime in Tehran.

The 31-years-old royal lad is having sizable experience under his belt stretching from Yemen war to revamping the Saudi economy that is exploring new genres other than oil.

In an interview conducted last month, the Saudi prince had suggested that Iran wanted to wrest control of Islam's holiest sites away from Riyadh and that there could be no dialogue with the regional Shia power.

The royal decree did not nominate a new deputy crown prince. According to Saudi Arabia's law on succession, the king must be a male direct descendant of the first Saudi king, Abdulaziz, who became king in 1932.

The King Salman, 81, is reportedly not in the best of health. This has practically removed all hurdles for the 31-year-old to ascend the throne once his father retires or dies.

He is popular in Saudi Arabia particularly among its large young demographic, and represents what analysts have called a "new generation" of leadership in the country.

Trump, 71, and Mohammed, 31, have met twice - once in Riyadh during the United States leader's recent trip to Saudi Arabia and once in mid-March at the White House.

The king accompanied his son's elevation with measures to woo the many Saudis who work for the government, either as civilian or military personnel.

Notably, if Saudi Arabia continues its more hawkish foreign policy, that could increase the political risk in the region and influence oil prices.

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