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Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, backed by the king, moves for absolute power

Monocle 24: The Foreign Desk

10:04 min | 2 years ago

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, backed by the king, moves for absolute power

"It is easy to forget that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz. Al Sowed is not actually technically ruler of Saudi Arabia. That title belongs formerly to his elderly Father King Salman however since his appointment as crown prince in two thousand seventeen. It has been widely understood that. Nbs often known is the heir designate. Power behind the throne and at the age of thirty four very much the future of Saudi Arabia in this unofficial role mb has furnished considerable cause for concern he has overseen a terrible onslaught against Yemen and a blockade of Qatar. Neither of which appear to have accomplished much. He has interred dozens of his fellow royalty. For a time in a Ritz hotel and more or less kidnapped the prime minister of Lebanon perhaps most infamously. Nbs is widely supposed responsible for the murder of Washington. Post columnist. Jamal Khashoggi even by those standards. This week's palace intrigue in Riyadh is remarkable. Several members of the court appear to have been arrested at MBA's instruction including one of his uncles and one of his cousins dozens more army officers and civil servants are also reported to have been rounded up east this NBA swatting a coup. D'etat conducting one of his own. If he does manage to reach the throne when King Solomon's time comes. What does he want to do with it and is in BS? Perhaps not quite the Mariah Carey loving modernizer. He would have us believe. This is the foreign desk when you bring in Mariah Carey and all these singers and pay them views amount of money but you do not have an any universities anyplace to learn music. There is no department in any Saudi university to learn. Play ride to a drama making this these other forms that you should look for. And whether this massive youth constituency what she has to some extent manage to bring behind him is still behind him in five years time because young people need to get jobs. They need to be able to get married. They can't subsistence promises forever. So I think Basch is going to be the key determinant his credibility rather than some of the things that I looked with more interested in the book. We must remember that. Donald Trump has given unequivocal support. D'amato Vince on who is heavily implicated in the killing of the journalist. Jamal Hasha he. Trump has had his back on that one and I think as as long as trump remains in power that this relationship will continue quite strongly. You're listening to the foreign desk. I'm Andrew Miller on today show. I'm joined by Ali Al Ahmed and Laura James Ali. Ahmed is a Saudi Scala. The Institute for Gulf Affairs joins us from Washington DC. Laura James is senior Middle East analyst at the Global Advisory Firm Oxford Analytica Ali. Al Start with you and I'll start with well it's not always an easy question to answer with Saudi Arabia's concerned which is the the pretty basic one of as far as we know what has been going on this week Mohammed bin Salman the heir apparent of King. Solomon who has a lot of political ambitions obviously has members of the ruling family who are his rivals and they do not want to see him become king if they would like to see him ousted some just by talking and some by plotting so what has happened is Hamad discernment is extremely insecure about that and he took measures to stop any attempt to remove him. We have two groups here those who are talking and then the sort of speaking ill of Like his uncle Ahmad but Abdelaziz who who thinks that he has better in terms of becoming king and you have his cousin especially the younger ones who rallied around the his main rival. Hamad bin naive to try to dislodge him for power by by force even and that is why we have seen these steps of arrest and monitoring hundreds of members on family who are eyeing the throne Laura to bring you in his they one fundamental thing looking behind this extraordinary shakespeare in intrigue. Is it a reasonable assumption that MBBS is trying to nail down his future in anticipation that King Mohammed who is eighty four years old and not in good health? Con- last forever. I think he's done really since he became Crown Princeton before has been based on that assumption. It's been about shoring up his position within the family and I think if when his father succeeded nobody would have predicted that he could have done it. This effectively. He is essentially unchallenged. Do we understand. If the differences between the rival factions are actually political or is this basically a more atavistic. Instinctual family feud. I'm not sure that you can draw the distinction very clearly in Saudi Arabia between family in politics the two very much Banda with each other. I would say one difference between Mohammed bin Salman. His rivals is that he thinks that the anyway food. Saudi Arabia is essentially for one person to be in clear charging for that person to him whereas some of the people who oppose him wants to get back to a more consensual style family managed rule and Schering of resources and consensus in enslave change whereas if a political as well family reasons bin Salman says no that model work for Saudi Arabia. Dunga all these possible to be clear on rich factions of the house of sowed supporting. Nbs this point. Does he actually have the numbers? I think? So the most important in Saudi government and the ruling. Saudi Arabia is not even the ruling family anymore. It was about power previously. The model like Laura speaking about the there were centers of power at King. Abdullah had the national guard was his own militia guns so he can force his His agenda and his position and so on the delayed crown prince was also minister of defense so he had the army under his control so he can push his agenda and most importantly then the ministry of the interior with late conference knife had the interior ministry. Which has the largest number of security personnel and across the country and so he can use that to push himself to the throne in all of these people reach the throne. Some some did some died before they they got to to become king now all of these powers the Army National Guard and the Interior Ministry has been gutted and removed. Everything that's powerful about. It has been moved to something called the State Security Agency and the control of bin Salman so our bin Salman controls all the military and security apparatus in the country. So who is his real challenge? No one they can speak. They can talk about. They cannot do very much. There are members of the family who want to see him out. This is not strange to the Saudi ruling family King Faysal was shot and killed by his own nephew. King Salad was overthrown by his brothers. And also there was an assassination attempt on his life after he was deposed and expelled. This is nothing new in the history of the family so I expect to see some harsh measures against some of those younger princess like Nawaf bin Ni- F- Who was arrested and Mohammed bin? Naif who is basically the boss the boss of this of this of these people because he has the best chance in rivaling Ahmed bin Salman let us remember. It was the Obama Administration C. i. a. A and Obama who brought Hamad Knife as the future king and gave him a lot of accolades And supported him and tell trump came and push 'em B. S. INSTEAD AND MR. I'm mad but was pushed out and he still. Mr Benign has a lot of support in Washington in day democratic side. So that was the fear that MBBS had Laura how much might MB S.'s? Stature in court or credibility in the court of being damaged by his own somewhat petulant impulsive behavior over the years whether that's launching this war in Yemen his involvement? In the murder of Jamal Khashoggi would there be a concern in the rest of the court that he might be quite the loose cannon concerns among some parts of the ruling family and very strong concerns internationally. I think there are two distinct issues. One is about foreign policy mistakes. And as you've said in terms of Yemen in terms of Qatar in terms of the confrontation with Iran and particularly in Lebanon. It seemed that. His foreign policy initiatives haven't worked very well. I think within the country that's less important like the Ritz Carlton and this latest. Crackdown are actually less important than the nuts and bolts of vision twenty thirty which is his transformation plan so Mohammed bin Salman has stepped forward and said we know we need to change. The oil is going to run out. We've got to move into a new era. Diversify the economy. Be ready for this. Get Jokes Young People Change Society? I need a huge amounts woods that intensive transforming the way in which Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Father King Salman Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz NBS Crown Prince Mohammed King Solomon Donald Trump Laura Washington Ali Al Ahmed Mariah Carey Yemen Jamal Khashoggi Saudi University Saudi Scala Hamad Knife Qatar King Mohammed