Why Saudi's Mohammed bin Salman is 'Mr Everything'

Why Saudis Mohammed bin Salman is Mr Everything
Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Riyadh - Mohammed bin Salman has risen to among Saudi Arabia's most influential figures.


Published: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 5:50 PM

Last updated: Thu 22 Jun 2017, 1:37 AM

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman holds unusual power for a man of just 31, so much so that diplomats have nicknamed him "Mr Everything".
The key figure behind the recent unveiling of a vast plan to restructure the kingdom's oil-dependent economy, the son of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, has risen to among Saudi Arabia's most influential figures since being named second-in-line to the throne.
Mohammed bin Salman, seen as the standard-bearer for a new generation of Saudi royals, is in charge not only of the country's economic policy but also the military as defence minister.
He has amassed "extraordinary power and influence very quickly" since his father took the throne last year, said Frederic Wehrey of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
"He's clearly very bright, very intelligent, very on top of all his briefs", one Western diplomat said.
Among his key positions is as chair of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, set up last year to oversee the economy. Mohammed bin Salman also chairs a body overseeing state oil giant Saudi Aramco.
As defence minister, he has spearheaded the kingdom's military intervention in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition 13 months ago launched air strikes against Houthi rebels in support of the embattled government.
In a profile and interview released earlier this month, Bloomberg Businessweek said he works 16-hour days and draws inspiration from the writings of Winston Churchill and Sun Tzu's The Art of War.
It was the latest interview in which the prince has spoken at length about economic plans for the kingdom, where officials are traditionally tight-lipped.
A law graduate from Riyadh's King Saud University, Mohammed bin Salman is the father of two boys and two girls and has only married once.
"He has a reputation for being aggressive and ambitious," Bruce Riedel, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who directs the Brookings Intelligence Project in Washington, has said.

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