Saudi Arabia’s young Crown Prince has quite a feat to achieve following his visit to the United States – modernize his conservative Kingdom, weaken Iran’s hand across the Middle East and, rehabilitate his country’s image in the eyes of Americans, The Chicago Tribune reported.
The visit comes as the U.S. and much of the West are still trying to figure out Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose sweeping program of social changes at home and increased Saudi assertiveness abroad has upended decades of traditional rule in Saudi Arabia. The 32-year-old Crown Prince also has big economic plans, and over three weeks in the U.S. he will meet businessmen in New York, tech mavens from Google and Apple Inc. in San Francisco, and entertainment bigwigs in Los Angeles. Other stops include Boston and Houston.
However, both Democrats and Republicans have approached some of the crown prince’s other bold steps with apprehension, particularly as they pertain to his anti-Iran efforts. One bill in Congress proposes diminishing U.S. military assistance to a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, the Post added.
The bipartisan resolution, ending American military involvement in Yemen within 30 days unless Congress formally authorizes it, could be voted on in Senate as early as Tuesday, The New York Times asserted.
The Times adds that these are sensible ways to help end the attacks, as the need for a political solution in Yemen becomes more urgent by the day. Legal and human rights experts say the killing of civilians and humanitarian aid deprivations could well be war crimes.
MBS, as the crown prince is known, has been closely identified with the three-year-old war in the Arab world’s poorest country, which started while he was defense minister. The Saudis and their allies are fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels, but international organizations have harshly criticized the coalition’s airstrikes and blockading of Yemeni ports for contributing to thousands of civilian deaths and a humanitarian catastrophe.
According to USA Today, when the crown prince meets with President Trump, administration officials and congressional leaders this week, it will be subtly suggested to him to do more in order to help end the civil war in Yemen that’s contributed to an international humanitarian crisis.
Trump’s meeting Tuesday with the crown prince is being billed by the official as a way to make progress on multiple issues, including ways of combating Iran’s influence in the region, Russia’s role in supporting the Assad regime’s atrocities in Syria, and the threat of increased attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, the news outlet added.