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Mohammed bin Salman UK Visit: Who Is The Saudi Crown Prince, Why Are People Celebrating, What’s At Stake?
Britain readied its trademark Royal welcome for Muhammad bin Salman by rolling the infamous red carpet. The Powerful Leader, who is also the Kingdom’s Defense Minister visited the UK on Wednesday last week, where he was set to meet with the ruling Conservative Party and the Royal Family. The visit was largely advertised and significantly important. A UK-Saudi “Strategic Partnership Council” to not only boost reforms and but mutually collaborate on education and culture, as well as defense and security, was expected to be set in motion after meeting with President May and her Cabinet.
“It will usher in a new era of bilateral relations, focused on a partnership that delivers wide-ranging benefits for both of us,” May’s spokesman told reporters.
The officials on Britain side were elated to be chosen by the Crown Prince on his first foreign trip visit from the West and this diplomatic anticipation was on display with several advertisements campaigns such as electronic billboards and taxis supporting graphics with heading “Welcome Saudi Prince” with the also capital promoting pro-Saudi messages with the hashtag #anewsaudiarabia.
Foreign Minister Boris Johnson led the welcome party for Prince Mohammed where it started off with a trip to Buckingham Palace for talks and meal with the British Monarch, the treatment specific to Heads of States only. Bin Salman had lunch with the Queen and dinner with Prince Charles and Prince William on Wednesday.
The Saudi’s Crown Prince met with Prime Minister at her office in Downing Street where they signed several trade and investment deals.
A private dinner was also held at Chequers, 16th-century manor house 40 miles (60 km) northwest of London, which is Theresa May’ countryside residence, as sensitive topics were discussed regarding the crisis in Yemen according to her spokesman.
The visit held significant strategic importance as Saudi Arabian domestic dynamic rebuild has brought a wave of unrest amongst the international investors and Great Britain looked for backup regarding finance and trade after leaving the EU as they particularly looked forward to landing the stock market listing of state oil firm Saudi Amarco.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir spoke to reporters on Monday and clarified the miscommunications regarding his country involvement in Yemen prompting the allegations. MBS, as the Prince is known, has started to bring forth long due social and economic reforms to his country.
British government also laid emphasis on Saudi Arabia as key intelligence and anti-terror ally and prompting to recognize the importance of “shock” reforms.
“The partnership between the UK and Saudi Arabia already helps make both of our countries safer through intelligence sharing, which has saved British lives, and more prosperous, with thousands of jobs created in the UK and substantial opportunities for British companies in Saudi Arabia,” Theresa May said in a statement. “The visit of the crown prince will establish the platform for that relationship to become even stronger.”
Propaganda vans driving past Hyde Park Corner on Monday. pic.twitter.com/j5gcjCfjkY
— Jack Stewart (@jjstewart457) March 7, 2018
The rigorous advertisement campaign was promoted by AEI Saudi. Its Founding Director Adam Hosier explained the reasoning in blog post eliciting the radical shifts for the past decade in his country.
— James Jones (@jamesjonestv) March 7, 2018
“It is for this reason we wholeheartedly support the visit of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the UK this week,” he wrote. “Because if there is one individual who has been the driving force behind these changes it is ‘MbS’, as he is often known. He has faced the resistance of course, both internally and from powers outside the Kingdom, yet he has not faltered.”
Feels like arriving in #Riyadh – when entering London from the M4 & M40 one is greeted by the “beloved leader” #MbS – @AEISaudi & the #Saudi lobby try to turn around the kingdom’s image in a not so subtle way @alekhbariyatv pic.twitter.com/Gb8rwuYiUK
— Dr Andreas Krieg (@andreas_krieg) March 6, 2018
The statement from PM May’s office told that they had mutually agreed upon that a political solution is key to solve matters in Yemen and they will continue their support. Britain rulers all are firmly supporting the Saudi rectifications and look forward to building new frontiers of diplomatic relationships favoring both sides.