Saudi Arabian heir tightens his grip on power

Adjust Comment Print

In an unusually lengthy and detailed readout of the call made on Saturday, the White House said that Mr. Trump had thanked King Salman for Saudi Arabia's support in fighting terrorism and for its purchase of military equipment from the United States.

Official justifications notwithstanding, the sweep was widely seen as as a move to consolidate power around Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 32-year-old heir to the Saudi throne now occupied by his father, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Along with the 11 princes, three ministers were removed from their positions: Economy and Planning Minister Adel bin Mohammed Faqih, National Guard Minister Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and Naval Forces Commander Admiral Abdullah bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Sultan, reports CNN.

It also comes as the Kingdom appears to be in the midst of a major purge of rivals to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Prince Alwaleed, one of the country's highest profile businessmen, was one of several princes, ministers, and former ministers detained as part of an anti-corruption crackdown, two senior Saudi officials told Reuters on Sunday.

American Woman Jailed in Zimbabwe After Allegedly Posting Tweet About Zimbabwean President
Reports said O'Donovan spent Friday night in a cell at the Harare Central Police Station and she faced the courts this Saturday. Last month, Mugabe appointed a "cybersecurity minister", ostensibly to crack down on social media criticism of the government.


Bloomberg quoted a senior Saudi official as saying that 11 princes and 38 current or former senior officials were arrested.

Other names listed were of businessmen, including Bakr bin Laden, chairman of Saudi Binladin Group, Alwaleed Al Ibrahim, owner of television network MBC, and Khalid Al Mulheim, former director general at Saudi Arabian Airlines. The 62-year-old is one of the largest shareholders in Citigroup and also owns stakes in News Corp and Twitter. The new body was given broad powers to investigate cases, issue arrest warrants and travel restrictions, and seize assets.

"The homeland will not exist unless corruption is uprooted and the corrupt are held accountable", the royal decree said.

Hours before landing in Japan, the first stop of his 12-day Asia trip, the president tweeted his support for a US stock listing for the world's largest oil company: "Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange".

Comments