Rabat - As Saudi Arabia re-aligns the succession to the throne, one prince living in Germany deems it a grand American "conspiracy."
Rabat – As Saudi Arabia re-aligns the succession to the throne, one prince living in Germany deems it a grand American “conspiracy.”
While some had suspected this move as early as 2015 when the reign of the current king began, King Salman of Saudi Arabia has officially granted his young, ambitious son, Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, the title of crown prince.
By assuming the title, the young Bin Salman has replaced his much older cousin, Prince Mohammad Bin Nayef. Upon being revoked of his title, the former crown prince was also relieved of his duties as minister of the interior and deputy prime minister.
The crown has made no official statement regarding the motives behind this political maneuver.
However, In the wake of this succession shuffle, Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al-Saud shares his opinions and his skepticism toward Mohammad bin Salman’s appointment to crown prince.
Prince Khalid – who has been living in Germany since defecting from the royal family in 2013 – expressed on Twitter what he believes to be the reasons behind the sudden change in the line of succession.
Claiming to have received credible information from within Saudi Arabia, the self-exiled prince insists that the United States had a significant amount of influence in the decision, and has even laid down a set of ‘conditions’ for helping the crown prince take the throne before the death of his father, the current king.
Khalid describes the conditions as, “absolute obedience to the US and Israel and carrying out whatever they ask him to do.” In his words, this ultimately includes “working to settle all Gaza residents in North Sinai as an additional homeland,” and “getting Sanafir Island from Egypt.” Additionally, he claims the US and Israel will attempt to use Saudi Arabia to get rid of Hamas and its allies.
Although the move was ultimately well received by the Saudi government, with 31 of the 34 members of the Allegiance Council supporting the king’s decision, Khalid does represent a voice which is concerned about what the new crown prince’s eventual ascension to the throne means for Saudi Arabia’s future.
Many regard Mohammad bin Salman – whether they do so welcomingly or not – as a sign of future reform in Saudi Arabia. Since rising from obscurity in 2015, the prince has been an advocate for several social changes in Saudi Arabia, including the introduction of cinemas and raising the status of women in the kingdom.
Furthermore, there are fears both in and outside Saudi Arabia as to what the country’s foreign policy may look like under a future King Muhammad. Many see the prince as the mastermind in his country’s participation in the Yemeni Civil War, which has claimed over 10,000 of civilian lives, displaced over three million and exposed over 7 million people to the risk of starvation. With tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran reaching an all-time high, a continuation of aggressive foreign policy under the new king could create room for even more conflict in the Gulf and the Middle East in general.
At the age of only 31, Prince Bin Salman has served as the chairman of the Council for Economic and Political Affairs and has been given control over Saudi Aramco. The crown prince has also made no secret of his intention to form a strong relationship with President Trump and has pledged ‘close cooperation’ on economic and security issues.