Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, will meet with U.S. President, Donald Trump on Tuesday, 20 March. The White House will be the first stop of his two-week visit to the United States. His Royal Highness has already visited Britain and Egypt in his first extended foreign trip since gaining his title in June 2017.
The aim of the meeting is to strengthen ties between Saudi Arabia and the United States. His Royal Highness already has connections with President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Last year, President Trump visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in his first foreign trip as President, and he and the Crown Prince see eye-to-eye when it comes to ideas of ‘evil’ and ‘radical Islam’. The two leaders spoke on the phone in February and vowed to enhance their relationship. This visit also marks the 75-year alliance between Saudi Arabia and the United States that began when Franklin Roosevelt was President.
Sarah Sanders, President Trump’s press secretary, said: “The President looks forward to discussing ways to strengthen ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia”. They hope to discuss how to improve common security and economic priorities between the two countries. The Crown Prince wants to gain more international support for his expensive three-year war in Yemen and Iran and Qatar dispute after gaining financial support in Egypt earlier this month.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has recently sought to concentrate his power within Saudi Arabia and press ahead with his plans for economic and social liberalisation. He has been influential in allowing women to drive and watch football matches in the country.
Some have criticised the visit, calling it a ‘power grab’. His Royal Highness received the same criticism last November following an anti-corruption purge he instigated – and President Trump endorsed – which landed his rival for the Saudi throne in jail.