Opinion

Prince Mohammed bin Salman: His charisma and charm of vision

September 14, 2023
Prince Mohammed bin Salman: His charisma and charm of vision

Jameel Altheyabi

The skies over the Indian capital, New Delhi, did not need more lights to confirm the pivotal international diplomatic role of Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, who led the Kingdom’s delegation to the Leaders’ Summit of the G20, the most powerful global economic bloc. The Crown Prince’s participation has been instrumental in bringing high-level effectiveness and vitality to the summit and resulting in the announcement of a memorandum of understanding to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. This corridor is poised to bring about a radical civilizational change in trade among the countries of the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has become the focus of global attention and the center of the international community's keen interest, represents a new global vision. This is evidenced by his superior capabilities and ingenuity in approaching a number of crises that threatened global peace. This was evident through his mediation of the exchange of prisoners between Moscow and Kyiv, as well as his successful efforts in securing the release of an American basketball player detained by Russia.

Perhaps the manifestations of this unique diplomacy are most evident in the transformation of Riyadh and Jeddah into two effective centers for regional and international summits. The Crown Prince has turned his country into a destination where the leaders of major nations cannot afford to skip its airports. Among those leaders are US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who landed in Riyadh in December 2022, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who attended the Jeddah Arab Summit as part of a regional diplomatic initiative. Therefore, it was natural for Beijing to offer its mediation for reconciliation between Riyadh and Tehran to restore diplomatic relations and shift the regional balance in a way that astonished adversaries rather than allies. This was followed by the organization of a high-level security meeting in Jeddah, attended by security officials from 42 countries, to discuss a solution to the Ukrainian crisis.

The truth is that whenever Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s diplomacy achieves success, anti-Saudi voices emerge, claiming that these steps mean Riyadh is distancing itself from Washington, London, or Paris, and that Saudi Arabia is moving toward an alliance with Moscow or Beijing or seeks to form alliances with various international blocs.

It is as if these critics are driven by their imaginations to determine with whom Saudi Arabia should ally itself and where its leaders should go. It's as if they fear befriending countries they consider their enemies or see a genie demonizing international politics.

One telling example of this was Saudi Arabia’s recent acceptance of an invitation to attend a meeting of leaders from the increasingly influential BRICS group on the international stage. In fact, Saudi Arabia did not request to join that group; rather, it received an invitation to attend the meeting and accepted it without entering into any obligations. This clearly confirms that Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become a pivotal figure on the global diplomatic stage. It is certain that this ‘guardian mentality’ is what prompts American or British media circles to fabricate reports and stories, often attributed to “unreliable” sources!

There is no doubt the American Democrats are seeking an "achievement" they can use in the 2024 elections. It is certain that Saudi Arabia, represented by its Crown Prince, will not provide that "achievement" without conditions that serve its pure national interests. Those who know Prince Mohammed bin Salman closely are undoubtedly aware that he refuses to sacrifice Riyadh’s relations with any other world powers in exchange for potential deals. When he engages with China, strengthens relations with Moscow, or participates in the deliberations of the BRICS bloc, he does so with the aim of advancing his country's highest interests and the well-being of its people. At the core of this is the Kingdom's century-long commitment to ensuring peace and stability in the Arab and Islamic regions. This conclusively confirms that the authority and power reside in the hands of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, not in the hands of external parties seeking to pursue their interests and those of their allies at the expense of the geopolitical role that geography and history have bestowed upon this young Kingdom.

The course of international politics has proven that world leaders are eager to meet with Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Crown Prince has succeeded in establishing balanced relations with all the competing global powers, always prioritizing the interests of his own country. This has led him to maintain an impartial stance in the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and the heated competition between Beijing and Washington, based on terms and conditions that align with Saudi Arabia's interests.

Rather than engaging in statements of denial and counter-denial, Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pursued domestic reforms with strength, passion, ambition, and determination. He does so in accordance with a sagacious vision, while maintaining a full awareness of the great responsibility of building a Saudi Arabia that is open to the future without denying its history, principles, and core values.

Saudi Vision 2030 has already started to bear economic and social fruit and has a global impact, particularly through its initiatives related to addressing the climate change crisis and inevitable transformations in the energy sector. After removing the obstacles to restructuring the Saudi economy, the Crown Prince is now focused on implementing high-quality policies, expanding the reach of Saudi sovereign wealth represented by the Public Investment Fund, and continuing the nation-building process by leading the Kingdom toward modern technology and advanced industries. This will position Saudi Arabia as a significant player in the 21st-century global scenario.

What is certain is that Western and Eastern nations have recognized the success and fruitfulness of Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies, characterized by passion, ambition, and solidity. Eager to engage with his country's vision and investment initiatives, they are now flocking to the Saudi capital, Riyadh. These initiatives are promising, and its programs and vision are led by a star of global diplomacy, as described by Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper. And that is the truth.


September 14, 2023
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