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Mohammed bin Salman: The Architect behind Foreign Alliances, Local Development | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman (2nd L), who is the kingdom’s Crown prince and first-in-line to the throne, arrives at the closing session of the 4th Summit of Arab States and South American countries held in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on November 11, 2015, AFP

Jeddah, Dubai- As distinguished as a Saudi comes, the newly appointed Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman enjoyed no royal privilege growing up. Carving his own path, he did not travel abroad for education despite that being the most popular method to shine in any areas of expertise.

Talent is home to knowledge, and hard work is condition to successful ambition.

With no need to be introduced, the young Crown Prince took the world of Saudi business by storm, with countless colleagues standing witness to his crude wit and attention to detail. One character shines the most when reviewing Prince Mohammed’s profile, which is undying loyalty to his homeland and the Kingdom’s people.

Forevermore, he stands to be a beacon of devotion focused on Saudi Arabia’s future.

Saudi youth look up to Crown Prince Mohammed with the urge to hit the ground running and move the country’s development further after it had been derailed. Not only being a youth sensation, Prince Mohammed delivers in measures befitting ambitions held by Saudis.

As far Expertise Goes

Many witnesses to his grace’s superiority cite that it was four years ago that his presence became almost impossible to miss, as he was the center to many sideline discussions at meetings. As calm as the summer sea, and with thoughtfulness to his silence, Prince Mohammed was chosen by his father King Salman bin Abdulaziz to be his safety net and support system.

Although placed at the heart of his father’s family, Prince Mohammed ranked first when King Salman chose to select him for succession.

At 31-years-old and holding a bachelor degree in law from King Saud University, Crown Prince Mohammed managed to wield both culture and knowledge into success. After excelling in his higher education, Prince Mohammed focused on investment with destiny placing him at the frontier of what can bring unequivocal prosperity to the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia’s Bureau of Experts at the Council of Ministers, which serves as a research dome for research, scrutiny and decision making, would round up interns who graduated top of their class across the kingdom. Prince Mohammed bin Salman was among those chosen.

Although he walked in to the Bureau as an intern, and had worked closely with commoners, Prince Mohamad bin Salman– driven by the thirst for knowledge– was the first to get involved, learn and inquire and eventually emerging as an expert on Saudi policy making.

Holding an unmistakable passion and determination, King Salman, then Riyadh’s governor, called on his son to come through as a personal advisor in late 2009.

An Interest in Youth

Crown Prince Mohammed, as well as his father King Salman, were always at a close distance from people and their day-to-day struggles, worries and expectations. Later on the ‘Salman’ way of doing things and facilitating the lives of Saudis undisputedly shaped how a prosperous future would become a reality for the oil-rich kingdom.

The late Ghazi Abdul Rahman Al Gosaibi, a renowned liberal politician, diplomat, technocrat, poet, and novelist had described King Salman as the future’s businessman and a visionary.

When serving under the then Riyadh Governor, King Salman, Prince Mohammed dedicated great efforts to listening to youth and carrying out action where needed. Being personally involved with the people, Prince Mohammed had leverage with pin pointing what the people are short on and need.

As days unfolded, Prince Mohammed founded a Philanthropic Foundation “MiSK.”

MiSK, is a non-profit foundation devoted to cultivating learning and leadership in youth for the Saudi Arabia of tomorrow.

The foundation focuses on the country’s youth and provides different means of fostering talent, creative potential, and innovation in a healthy environment that paves the way toward opportunities in arts and sciences.

More so, the Foundation is invested in educating the youth in three wide fields; Education, Media & Culture. These pillars of knowledge will support and advance the Kingdom’s future.

In 2013, Prince Mohammed was awarded “Personality of the Year” by Forbes Middle East for his role as chairman of the King Salman Youth Center, another label the MiSK Foundation goes by. The designation came in recognition of his support for Saudi’s youth and their development.

Believing in the abilities of Saudis and in an effort to lead a role in granting youth access to all fields and support them partaking in the growth of their homeland, King Salman also founded the King Salman Youth Center.

Godfather of Kingdom Vision 2030

In April 2016, Crown Prince Mohammed introduced Vision 2030. Later on, the Council of Ministers approved the plan for the Kingdom’s future, which is aimed at making the kingdom the heart of the Arab and Islamic world, the investment center connecting three continents.

The Vision is built around three themes: a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation.

In his foreword on the Kingdom Vision 2030, Crown Prince Mohammed says “All success stories start with a vision, and successful visions are based on strong pillars.”

“The future of the Kingdom, my dear brothers and sisters, is one of huge promise and great potential, God willing. Our precious country deserves the best. Therefore, we will expand and further develop our talents and capacity. We will do our utmost to ensure that Muslims from around the world can visit the Holy Sites.”

The vision is also determined on reinforcing and diversifying the economy, turning national key strengths into potent tools for a fully diversified future.

As such, the Kingdom’s oil-giant Aramco will be transformed from an oil producing company into a global industrial conglomerate. The Public Investment Fund will be made into the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. Major local corporations will be given incentives and support to expand across borders and take their rightful place in global markets.

The Architect behind Forging, Emboldening Foreign Alliances

Described as the architect behind strong Saudi-American relations, Prince Mohammed bin Salman after his March meeting with US President Donald Trump, at the White House, paved the way for Trump’s historic visit to Saudi Arabia.

Prince Mohammed is also seen as the man behind establishing the first tether between the two countries. Another highlight to the prince’s knack for foreign policy was his meeting with Russia’s President Putin during which they discussed vital files.

Prince Mohammed is also recognized as the force driving the reformation and reshaping of the kingdom’s foreign alliances by means of a new vision that is in line with the country’s regional and global size and the religious, economic and political importance.

The meetings Prince Mohammed held since his appointment as Deputy Crown Prince have played a central role in developing Saudi relations with world powers and emerging countries. He singlehandedly led the initiative which revived US-Saudi relations.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman was also able to strengthen relations with Russia, confirming that the two countries are in contact at political and military levels and emboldening cooperation in matters of crisis resolution. Despite standing on opposite sides of regional crises, Prince Mohammed was able to efficiently map out a clear mechanism to overcome existing differences.

Along with other highlight visits to Japan, China, Egypt, France and Jordan, Prince Mohammed positively promoted future Saudi Arabia, how it worked, and the Kingdom’s influential role in global and regional issues, which was crowned by the support of world states on many occasions.