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Crown Prince MBS Named Saudi Arabia's PM

    Crown Prince MBS Named Saudi Arabia's PM
    Last updated: 1 month ago
    Image credit: Reuters [via The Hindu]

    Facts

    • In a cabinet reshuffle ordered by a royal decree on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was appointed prime minister, formalizing his role as the country’s leader. [1]
    • MBS will be replaced as defense minister by his brother Prince Khalid bin Salman, who previously served as the kingdom's deputy defense minister. Other senior positions — except the minister of education — remain unchanged. [2]
    • King Salman, who became monarch in 2015, will continue to chair cabinet meetings in which he participates. Over the past years, he has been hospitalized several times and has steadily transferred power to the Crown Prince. [3]
    • MBS has been the kingdom's de facto ruler since being appointed crown prince in 2017. Though he leads the "Vision 2030" plan to modernize the country's economy and energy infrastructure, the Crown Prince has been criticized for promoting a crackdown on civil rights activists. [4]
    • He has also been associated with the murder of Saudi journalist and regime critic Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate in October 2018. According to US intelligence findings, MBS approved the killing. [5]
    • As prime minister, Prince Mohammed will likely be granted sovereign immunity ahead of a possible Khashoggi lawsuit. The Biden admin. has until next week to weigh in on the decision. [6]
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    Spin

    Narrative A

    This latest development is far from good news. Khashoggi's murder proves the tyranny of the crown prince's leadership and lack of concern for human rights. His reckless character makes him not only a danger to his people but also to the international community.

    Narrative B

    With MBS as prime minister, the Saudi economy will continue to improve. Thanks to the reforms the crown prince has introduced, the kingdom is on track to becoming one of the world's fastest-growing economies this year. Under Vision 2030, MBS will succeed in further transforming the Saudi economy, increasing its resilience, and nourishing the well-being of its people.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Saudi Arabia is one of the best examples of the West's hypocrisy and double standards. While Russia is sanctioned for the Ukraine war and degraded to a "pariah," Western leaders pilgrimage to autocrat and Yemen warlord MBS to strengthen economic and bilateral relations, while Riyadh tramples on human rights. The West's moral bankruptcy is evident.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that Mohammed bin Salman will become the king of Saudi Arabia by August 2026, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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