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Datum objave: 20.02.2018

The 32-year-old prince who’s shaking up Saudi Arabia

This young prince is transforming Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

The 32-year-old prince who’s shaking up Saudi Arabia

This young prince is transforming Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

Listen to this episode of Worldly for more context on MBS' shakeup:

Worldly is Vox's weekly podcast on the most important foreign policy and national security stories in the world

Mohammad bin Salman was designated as Saudi Arabia's new crown prince in June 2017. Since then, he has rapidly consolidated power and led Saudi Arabia towards some progressive reforms, such as granting women the right to drive. He also has plans to privatize certain segments of the economy, with the goal of reducing Saudi Arabia's economic dependency on oil. These changes, along with a suppression of Saudi Arabia's religious Right, could potentially begin to destabilize one of the Middle East's most powerful nations.

Mohammad bin Salman

Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Arabic: محمد بن سلمان بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود‎; born 31 August 1985), also known as MBS,is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, also serving as First Deputy Prime Minister,

Mohammad bin Salman was appointed Crown Prince on 21 June 2017, following his father's decision to depose Muhammad bin Nayef, making him heir apparent to the throne. The change of succession had been predicted in December 2015 by an unusually blunt and public memo published by the German Federal Intelligence Service, which was subsequently rebuked by the German government.

On the day he became Crown Prince, U.S. President Donald Trump called Mohammad bin Salman to "congratulate him on his recent elevation". Trump and the new crown prince pledged "close cooperation" on security and economic issues, according to the White House, and the two leaders also discussed the need to cut off support for terrorism, the recent diplomatic dispute with Qatar, and the push to secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Mohammad bin Salman told the Washington Post in April 2017 that without America's cultural influence on Saudi Arabia, "we would have ended up like North Korea

Mohammad bin Salman has a princely lifestyle. In 2015, he purchased the Italian-built and Bermuda-registered yacht Serene from Russian vodka tycoon Yuri Shefler for €500 million. In 2017 he bought the Château Louis XIV located near Versailles in France for $301,000,000 ($304 million as of 2017).

Mohammad has travelled extensively around the world, meeting with politicians, business leaders and celebrities. In June 2016, he travelled to Silicon Valley and met key people in the US high tech industry, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Mohammad bin Salman married Princess Sarah bint Mashhoor in 2008. They have four children

Princess Sarah bint Mashhoor

Profile: Saudi Arabia's new crown prince

Profile: Saudi Arabia's new crown prince

In a major reshuffle announced early on Wednesday, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud was named crown prince of Saudi Arabia by his father King Salman. A royal decree removed former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a 57-year-old nephew of the king, as next-in-line to the throne. The newly announced Crown Prince was also named deputy prime minister and is to maintain his post as the defence minister. Meanwhile, the former crown prince was removed from his post as interior minister.

The youngest defence minister in the world, the first in line to the throne and the deputy prime minister of Saudi Arabia, 32-year old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud has played a major role in Saudi Arabia’s political scenario.

Early Life

Mohammed bin Salman was born on August 31, 1985. His mother, Princess Fahda bint Falah bin Sultan bin Hathleen, is from the Ajman tribe, whose leader is the princess  grandfather, Rakan bin Hithalayn. Princess Fahda is the third spouse of King Salman. Mohammed bin Salman is the eldest of his full siblings.

In 2008, Mohammad bin Salman married Princess Sarah bint Mashhoor bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. They have three children together.

Career and political life

Mohammed has a bachelor’s degree in law from King Saud University where he was ranked second in his class. After graduating from college, he spent several years in the private sector before entering politics. In 2009, Salman was made special advisor to this father when the latter was the governor of Riyadh and thus began the political career of Mohammed Bin Salman which would eventually lead him to be the crown prince of the kingdom. Throughout the course of years, Mohammed bin Salman served as secretary-general of the Riyadh Competitive Council, special advisor to the chairman of the board for the King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives, and a member of the board of trustees for Albir Society in the Riyadh region. He was also president of his father s Royal Court, back when King Salman was crown prince.

While Mohammed bin Salman enjoys a lavish lifestyle, he is also a philanthrop. He is the founder and chairman of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Foundation, otherwise known as MiSK, an organization that works for the disadvantaged youth, cultivating leadership and helping start-ups.

On January 23, 2015, following his father’s accession to the throne after the death of King Abdullah, Mohammed bin Salman was appointed defence minister. The first and most significant move of his career was Operation Decisive Storm, a Saudi-led intervention in Yemen to fight the Houthi rebels. The war, aimed at restoring the power of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, turned out to be a long war of attrition still on-going. It has failed to dislodge the Iran-backed Houthi rebels from the capital, Sanaa, and has had devastating effects on the impoverished country.

The new crown prince has ruled out any possibility of dialogue with Iran. He is said to be driving a far more aggressive foreign policy on Iran than his predecessor. Mohammed bin Salman has also successfully lobbied for regulations restricting the powers of religious police and calling for more entertainment options for both families and youth. He established an entertainment authority that has hosted comedy shows, pro wrestling events, and monster truck rallies. He has talked about opportunities for women but stopped short of saying whether the long standing ban on driving could end.

In April 2016, Mohammed bin Salman introduced Vision 2030, his vision for the future of the country, which details goals and measures in various fields, from developing non-oil revenues and privatization of the economy to e-government and sustainable development.


While announcing Operation Decisive Storm as defence minister, Mohammed did not inform Saudi National Guard Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, as the Saudi protocol dictates. In the midst of the operation, Mohammed bin Salman went on a holiday to Maldives, where United States Secretary of Defense Ash Carter had trouble reaching him for days. The operation, led by him, also resulted in direct war crimes being committed in Yemen which has killed thousands of civilians to date.

In 2015, Mohammed bin Salman, while vacationing in France, spotted a 440-foot yacht floating off the coast. In a spur of the moment purchase he bought the yacth from Russian vodka tycoon Yuri Scheffler for a price of €500 million.

SAUD'YOU DO? Who is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the Saudi Arabian’s wife Princess Sara and what’s his net worth?

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Who is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?

His full name is Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and he was born on August 31, 1985, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The prince is the son of the current head of state King Salman and his third wife Fahda bint Falah bin Sultan bin Hathleen.

Mohammed is the eldest of his full siblings and has a law degree from King Saud University in Riyadh.

He entered politics in 2009 becoming a personal aide to his dad when he was still governor of Riyadh.

Following the death of King Abdullah in 2015 his father took the throne and elevated him to the positions of Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince.

Last year King Salman deposed the previous Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Nayef, and elevated his son to heir apparent.

Who is the Crown Prince's wife?

Prince Mohammed married his cousin Princess Sara bint Mashoor bin Abdulaziz in 2008.

The couple have four children together, two boys and two girls.

The lads are named Prince Salman and Prince Mashhour while the girls are called Princess Fahda and Princess Nora.

The exact ages of the children are unknown.

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