Saudi Crown Prince Explores Five Key Concerns
Today in a face to face interview with the US broadcaster Fox News, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, explored some significant issues.
He stressed on Saudi’s external policy with states like Iran, USA and Israel, economic growth, peace and stability in the neighbouring Yemen and the Middle East in general, as well as the swift social and political reforms being adopted in the Gulf country.
The interview was conducted by Bret Baier, Fox News chief political anchor.
The main points that the Crown Prince delved on included:
Security in the region– The Kingdom will have to acquire nuclear weapon if Iran moves ahead with nuclear weapons.
Baier posed a question to Prince Mohammed bin Salman regarding Iran’s potential to acquire nuclear weapons. The Crown Prince replied: “Saudi Arabia would “have to” get one in that case for “security reasons” and for “balancing power in the Middle East region.”
However, the Prince added that Iran’s attempt to get nuclear would be impractical since any state that seeks to use nuclear weapon will be declaring war on the whole world.
The Prince who is also known as MBS remarked: “You don’t need to get a nuclear weapon because you can’t use it… without having a war with the rest of the world.”
He said that the world cannot risk another Hiroshima.
Saudi aims to ensure stability in Yemen and the entire region– The Crown Prince said that the Kingdom is exerting effort to ensure that Yemen achieve stability so that the people of Yemen, in addition to the entire Middle East, enjoy peace. This is one of political and economic priorities of the Kingdom.
“Our goal from the first day is to have a good life for the Yemenis,” MBS said.
MBS stated that if countries in the region such as Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran foster economic development, promote growth, and establish peace, then any uprising from extremist groups can be prevented.
“To have a stable region and economic growth we don’t need to see any problems in Yemen, we need to see Iraq going forward, we need to see progress in Iran, Lebanon and the rest of the region.”
“When the region is disturbed, ISIS come out, Al Qaeda come out, and terrorist attacks happen.”
Washington-Riyadh’s bond remains strong- According to the Crown Prince, the relation between Washington and Riyadh remains healthy since both capitals are coordinating in various matters such as a ceasefire in Yemen, and boosting trade and investment, normalization with Israel as well as the proposed Saudi-India-Europe railway corridor for connectivity.
MBS was quoted saying: “The agenda between Saudi Arabia and America today is really interesting and we have really amazing relationship with President Biden.”
The Crown Prince added that the American President Joe Biden is focused and prepared.
Energy file- OPEC+ does not “take sides” in the on-going Russia-Ukraine conflict- “The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Country (OPEC+) is not allied to Moscow or Kiev in relation to the oil market,” Bin Salman remarked, responding to questions about the OPEC+ striking deals that are beneficial to Russia.
“We just watch supply and demand, if there is a shortage, our role as OPEC+ is to fill that shortage, and if there is oversupply, our role is to measure that for the stability of the market,” he added. “It is purely about demand and supply.”
MBS said that the Kingdom is putting effort to mediate the on-going conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Saudi taking steps to normalizing ties with Israel; Palestine is a key issue- According Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Gulf Kingdom is “getting closer” to normalizing ties with Israel, saying that discussions are being held with America.
It is worthy to note that the Crown Prince said that meeting the needs of the Palestinian people remains a significant issue in order for a breakthrough deal to be achieved.
“For us, the Palestinian issue is very important, and we have good negotiations,” MBS said.
“If we have a breakthrough of reaching a deal that gives the Palestinians their needs and makes the region calm, we [Saudi Arabia] will work with whoever is there.”