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Saudi Arabia

Saudi Prince Alwaleed supports Crown Prince’s reforms

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a Saudi Arabian billionaire formerly detained in an anti-corruption campaign, pledged his support for the Crown Prince’s reforms on Thursday.

Ordered by King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – colloquially known as MBS – launched the 2017 anti-corruption campaign that jailed around 56 high-profile Saudi Royal Family members and businessmen who refused to surrender their wealth in return for freedom.

It is claimed that they recovered more than £70 billion ($100 billion) through the country’s anti-corruption purge.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was detained for three months because of the Crown Prince’s work yet pledged support for the reforms the leader aims to achieve with his Vision 2030 scheme. He tweeted: “I was honoured to meet with my brother HRH the Crown Prince and to discuss economic matters and the private sector’s future & role in #Vision2030 success. I will be one of the largest supporters of the Vision through @Kingdom_KHC & all its affiliates.” KHC stands for Kingdom Holding Company and is Prince Alwaleed’s international investment company.

Saudi Vision 2030 is a plan to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, diversify the economy, and improve public sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation, and tourism.

This was the first publicly disclosed meeting between the two princes since the anti-corruption campaign was launched in November 2017. Prince Alwaleed, one of the most prominent business figures in the country, was freed in January this year. He was held at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel along with a few royals, some of the country’s senior officials and other businessmen.

The Prince had previously pled his innocence, and in March, he cut a deal. However, he declined to disclose the details. He said he was in discussions with the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund led by the Crown Prince, about making joint investments inside the kingdom. It is unknown if Prince Alwaleed bin Talal gained freedom by giving up his estimated £13 billion fortune or won his fight with the authorities.