Washington : ‘Mohammed bin Salman’ the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, met the US President Barack Obama during his recent visit to the United States of America. During the meeting Obama and the Saudi prince discussed a wide range of issues, including Washington-Riyadh bilateral relations as well as developments in the Gulf. On the backdrop of the meeting, some American officials speculated that the power of the Royal family of Saudi Arabia would be under threat. One American officer warned that in the future Prince Salman would either end up being the ruler or in ISIS.
In the meeting with Prince Salman, Barack Obama expressed appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s contributions to the campaign against terrorism. They also discussed the important role Saudi Arabia can play in addressing extremist ideology. US president specially mentioned Saudi’s co-operation with regards to United States’ action against ‘ISIS’. It is published that the duo also discussed about the events in Syria and other similar issues in the Gulf. Saudi Arabia has set up a target for its economy to improve by 2030. President Obama has promised strong support for Saudi Vision 2030.
While the health of Saudi King Salman is deteriorating, the Royal family is actually ruled by the crown prince ‘Mohammed bin Salman’. Another prince from Saudi, ‘Prince Mohammad Bin Naeef’ and ‘Prince Salman’ are competing to be the successor of the throne. It seems like Prince Salman has beaten others in the race to be next King of the Saudi. American President Obama and foreign minister John Kerry fear that Prince Salman’s policies might prove to be fatal for the Saudi Royal family. This is the reason why President Obama initiated this discussion, stated Bruce Riedel, America’s former Central Intelligence Agency’s senior officer.
Due to King Salman’s ill health, 30 year old Prince Salman who has taken the reigns of the Royal family, has made some aggressive decisions. The most significant one amongst these is to take military action against Iranian supporters – Houthisin Yemen. Saudi’s military intervention in Yemen was successful to start with. However this is costing Saudi Arabia almost 20 crore dollars every day causing immense stress on the economy while deteriorating relations with Iran.
Prince Salman’s decision to increase the production of crude oil resulted in the drop in the rate of crude oil in the international market. This strategy which was adopted to teach a lesson to their competitor – Iran, which in turn is affecting its own economy. Lower crude prices has also disgruntled Russia who are also one of the biggest oil producers. Bruce Riedel also indicated that burden of debt on the economy of Saudi is increasing and America is concerned about Saudi’s future.
If Prince Salman’s policies fail, it can bring trouble to the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia. The danger of terrorist organisations such as ‘ISIS’ or ‘Al Qaeda’ taking over SaudiArabia has also increased, which is why, America is closely observing the events in there. America is aware that the ongoing war is going on in Syria, Yemen and Iraq coupled with a probable anarchy in Saudi Arabia, will have huge effect in the oil industry and the gulf region as a whole. Prince Salman’s America’s visit was to emphasize Saudi Arabia’s importance in policy America decides in the Gulf region.