- Title: Analyst comments on Saudi Arabia's new Crown Prince appointment
- Date: 21st June 2017
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (JUNE 21, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT (AUB) ENTRANCE VARIOUS OF BEIRUT-BASED POLITICAL COMMENTATOR RAMI KHOURI IN HIS OFFICE ON AUB CAMPUS VARIOUS OF SIGN OUTSIDE KHOURI'S OFFICE READING (English): "RAMI KHOURI - SENIOR FELLOW" KHOURI WALKING VARIOUS OF SIGN ON BUILDING READING (English): "ISSAM FARES INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR FELLOW AND PROFESSOR OF JOURNALISM AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT AND SENIOR FELLOW AT HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL, RAMI KHOURI, SAYING: "The naming of Mohammed bin Salman (the son of Saudi Arabia's King Salman) as crown prince is not a big sudden development because he was put in the position of deputy crown prince, about just over two years ago and he's been groomed for this, it was something that was widely expected. The question is will he continue the same policies that he has been pursuing in Yemen and other places and internally, or will there be any change. We don't know what are the internal consequences politically of this appointment, whether a lot of the older princes will be upset that they were left out, that they didn't get their chance to be in the ruling." KHOURI SPEAKING DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR FELLOW AND PROFESSOR OF JOURNALISM AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT AND SENIOR FELLOW AT HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL, RAMI KHOURI, SAYING: "There's clearly relationship among Qatar, Trump's visit, the Saudi leadership changes - they all go together in one package. Mohammed bin Salman is somebody who has cultivated the American Trump administration very intensely and personally with visits there. The Americans seem to like what he is proposing, and there is definitely a link between Trump's support for the Saudis and the policy on laying siege to Qatar. So, these things are all related." KHOURI'S HAND (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR FELLOW AND PROFESSOR OF JOURNALISM AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT AND SENIOR FELLOW AT HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL, RAMI KHOURI, SAYING: "There's still relatively inexperience in statecraft, they're good at doing other things but they are not very good at statecraft and they are showing their weaknesses now. Hopefully the new changes taking place will bring in people into government who have more experience, who have more wisdom, who have more realistic analysis of how the world actually works, and avoid some of the mistakes that have been made by rather amateurish and reckless decision making such as we've seen in Yemen and other places. Mohammed bin Salman is linked to a lot of these, but he's learning, he is only 31 years old, this is the most amazing on-the-job training experience that, you know, we have seen probably anywhere in the world." KHOURI DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR FELLOW AND PROFESSOR OF JOURNALISM AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT AND SENIOR FELLOW AT HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL, RAMI KHOURI, SAYING: "Yemen is a huge problem and Mohammed bin Salman is very much identified with it, and he's got to figure out how to fix this mess that he and others created. Other than that, the Saudis feel that what they are doing is probably sustainable." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING ON AUB CAMPUS SIGN OUTSIDE AUB'S MAIN GATE READING (Arabic): 'THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT. 1866' MAIN GATE OF AUB
- Embargoed: 5th July 2017 14:33
- Keywords: analyst power succession King Salman Yemen Rami Khouri Crown Prince Qatar Saudi Arabia
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016M81Z5Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Saudi Arabia's King Salman made his son next in line to the throne on Wednesday (June 21), handing the 31-year-old sweeping powers as the kingdom seeks radical overhaul of its oil-dependent economy and faces mounting tensions with regional rival Iran.
Although Mohammed bin Salman's promotion to crown prince was expected among those who follow the royal family closely, the timing was a surprise, putting the kingdom's future in relatively untested hands.
Rami Khouri, a senior fellow and professor of journalism at American University of Beirut, told Reuters that the new crown prince will have the task of fixing "amateurish" mistakes in Saudi Arabia's foreign policy.
One of the key issues for Saudi Arabia, according to Khouri, is the current war in Yemen, which has had Saudi Arabia carrying out air strikes in support of the government of Abd Rabbu Mansour al-Hadi against Houthi fighters.
Saudi Arabia and Hadi's government accuse Shi'ite Iran of supplying weapons to the Houthis to help spread Tehran's influence at the expense of Riyadh, its main regional rival. Iran denies the charge.
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