The United States should back the “revolutionary” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and the reforms being implemented by him in the kingdom, an American diplomat wrote in the Washington Post on Monday.
Dennis Ross, who had previously served as the Director of Policy Planning in the State Department under President George H. W. Bush and as a special Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton, wrote about what Prince Mohammed aims to achieve in Saudi Arabia.
“The drive for change in Saudi Arabia is more credible because it is homegrown, not a response to outside pressure,” Ross wrote.
“’MBS,’ as he is known, is not trying to secularize Saudi Arabia. In his words, he is trying to ‘restore’ Islam to its true nature and turn it away from those who sought to spread an intolerant, austere faith that created a justification for violence against all non-believers.
“Ironically, the skeptics are primarily outside Saudi Arabia and not in it. In my visits, which were a year apart, whether meeting at the College of Entrepreneurship, the MiSK Foundation, the Intelligence or Foreign Ministries, or “Etidal” — the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology — the new prominence of women is unmistakable. Equally impressive is the youth of those one meets in all these institutions,” he added.
Ross said that the US has a stake in Prince Mohammed’s success.
“We in the United States have a tremendous stake in MBS’s success, and his upcoming three-week visit to America will offer an opportunity for help where we can while a chance to be honest with him.
“MBS is a Saudi revolutionary, and the success of his policies will be felt not just in Saudi Arabia. So would their failure,” Ross added.