As the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits Washington to conduct meetings at the White House and with US leaders, critics and supporters compete to frame the achievements of the young royal, who will surely become the next monarch of a major world energy producer and home to the holiest shrines of Islam. The race between critics and fans of the 32-year-old prince, known worldwide as “MBS,” is fueled also by other crises in the region, notably the Iran-Saudi feud and the Gulf-Qatar quarrels.
The supporters of the Crown Prince note his young age, energy, and highlight his activities inside the Kingdom and worldwide. They often cite the project known as Vision 2030, a complex structure of economic and social reforms aimed at modernizing a kingdom endowed with dizzying riches.
The enemies of the young emir assault this glowing image with a plethora of acerbic assertions. They describe his acts as very firm and bound to fail. Prince Mohammed is also criticized for having waged a “war on Yemen” and its civilian bill. MBS is also accused of "escalating the Saudi conflict with Iran, instead of accepting the Iran Deal and its consequences". The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is characterized by his foes for his alliance with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. Both are chastised by opponents as responsible for the Gulf crisis and the boycott of Qatar since 2017.
Understanding the change
Mohammed bin Salman’s vision is strategic. And his vision is assaulted by our strategic enemies. The understanding cannot be simpler.Walid Phares