Saudi Seeks Israeli Military Help To Support New Crown Prince?

Cheryl Sanders
June 25, 2017

The shuffle stripped Mohammed bin Nayef of his title as crown prince and interior minister, overseeing security.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) with with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, June 2, 2017.

King Salman's decree said Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, long a favorite of Washington's for his tough stance against militancy, is relieved of all positions.

The decision by King Salman to promote his son and consolidate his power was endorsed by 31 out of 34 members of the Allegiance Council, made up of senior members of the ruling Al Saud family, the royal decree said. The regime will not change its mindset overnight; otherwise, its legitimacy inside Iran will come to an end. "She also noted that the prince, known as MBS, launched what he has turned out to be a costly war in Yemen and headed up the surprise blockade of Qatar".

The move continues the swift rise to power of MbS, who was little heard of before his father's accession to the throne in 2015.

Iran, Saudi Arabia's main rival for regional influence, called Prince Mohammed's appointment a "soft coup". Against such a background, the Prince's elevation will only prompt Saudi Arabia to turn more hawkish on regional policy, while reforms take a back seat. While bin Nayef fell into a diminished role. Erdoğan and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz will have a face-to-face meeting at the G20 Summit on July 7-8 in Hamburg, Germany.

The Wall Street Journal quoted well-informed banking sources as saying that the timing of the appointment promoted the direction towards the alliance of the Kingdom's leaders behind economic reform and foreign political developments. He was also very outspoken in the media about his country's fight against extremists, so much so that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) saw him as their "most important interlocutor". Footage aired on Saudi TV channels showed Mohammed bin Salman kissing the hand of his ousted 57-year-old cousin, Mohammed bin Nayef, and kneeling in front of the older prince, who patted his shoulder. Many Saudis opined that the new changes would help in achieving the objectives of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 more effectively.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorist groups including Hamas who are threats to the region's peace and security, and siding with Iran.

The young crown prince is reported to have a close relationship with Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law, which became even closer as they worked together to plan the president's recent trip to Riyadh.

Other reports by iNewsToday