The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia looks to charm America

Randolph Lopez
March 22, 2018

In addition to lunch at the White House, Prince Mohammed is expected to have dinner with Mr. Mattis and meetings with the C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, recently nominated by Mr. Trump to succeed Rex W. Tillerson as secretary of state; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Also present at the meeting was Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and Middle East envoy, who has already forged close ties with the Saudi Crown Prince.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince is promoting himself as a social and an economic reformer, reinventing his kingdom for the modern era.

"We'll see what happens", Trump said. "And that means jobs for our workers, jobs for our people", Trump said while briefing a press conference after the meeting. Prince laughed on the way Trump was describing the defence deals between the two countries.

The crown prince, in a rare foray into speaking English, said on Tuesday the Saudi pledge for $200 billion in investments would end up at $400 billion when fully implemented.

"We believe we can do all the great things together", bin Salman said.

But an all-out PR campaign created to burnish the crown prince's image, and declarations that "relations have never been better", mask several problems that could spoil the honeymoon.

Trump ducked a question about the issue on Tuesday.

A Saudi-led coalition is fighting to counter the influence of mainly Shi'ite Iran, an ally of the Huthi rebels who deny any help from Tehran and say they are fighting a revolution against corrupt politicians and Gulf powers who are controlled by the West.

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Meanwhile, a almost yearlong investigation into possible collusion between the Kremlin and Trump's campaign team stretches on. Other issues that will be discussed during the bilateral meeting will be Ukraine, Syria, and North Korea , Trump added.

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Mohammed's reformist message and the promise of Saudi investment in the USA has endeared him to the neophyte U.S. president, 39 years his elder, and America's own political princeling Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law.

The news was accompanied by expressions of concern about a US law that exposes Saudi Arabia to legal action over the 9/11 attacks, which Riyadh would dearly like to see removed.

The crown prince oversaw the invasion of Yemen as defense minister in 2015.

The Saudis and their allies are fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels, but worldwide organizations have harshly criticized the coalition's airstrikes and blockading of Yemeni ports for contributing to thousands of civilian deaths and a humanitarian catastrophe.

If Saudi Arabia does pursue a nuclear program, Israel would push for it to be purely civilianin nature, Brom said.

Saudi Arabia's nuclear program is "a massive contract that also has massive geopolitical implications", according to the Soufan Group, another political consultancy.

During three weeks in the US, the 32-year-old crown prince will also meet with businessmen in NY, tech mavens in San Francisco and entertainment bigwigs in Los Angeles.

He told a crowd in the northeastern city of Mashad in a Persian New Year message that the United States would not achieve its goals in the region.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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