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Beyond Mohammed bin Salman’s Tour

Beyond Mohammed bin Salman’s Tour

Saturday, 24 November, 2018 - 09:00
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The Saudi Crown Prince’s plane landed in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi on Thursday evening as the first stop of a six-nation Arab tour by Saudi Arabia’s number two, in a new Saudi diplomatic path that was adopted since King Salman bin Abdulaziz took office in early 2015.

The new diplomacy is primarily based on making the most of these visits by strengthening interests and developing relations with other countries, rather than conducting mere protocol stays.

As part of this diplomacy, the Saudi Crown Prince made two very successful tours that took him to Asia in August 2016 and to Europe and America in April 2018. This time the destination is Arab and will include the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Mauritania, in an effort by Prince Mohammed bin Salman to promote the country’s political, economic and military status, and to promote the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The Arab tour also aims to consolidate Saudi Arabia’s strong diplomatic presence, as the Kingdom is a key player in the world, as confirmed by the president of the world’s largest country, Donald Trump, who described Saudi Arabia as a “great ally.”

The Saudi Crown Prince’s Arab tour coincides with heading his country’s delegation to the G-20 summit in Argentina next Wednesday. This is an important opportunity to strengthen the Kingdom’s regional and international leading role as the only Arab member of the G-20, which is the most important summit of the year at the international level, even more important than the annual meetings of the United Nations.

The Kingdom has always shouldered and supported Arab and regional issues. This was translated in the vision of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of a new Middle East, which he announced last month at an economic conference in Riyadh, if the region gets rid of its chronic issues and focuses on the development of its countries.

Here in Abu Dhabi, Emiratis celebrated, officially and publicly, the arrival of Prince Mohammed bin Salman as if he were visiting them for the first time; knowing that the Crown Prince maintains uninterrupted visits and continuous communication with the Gulf state. The reason is because every visit by the Saudi Crown Prince to the UAE creates a new foundation for Saudi-Emirati relations, which are witnessing their strongest stages since their establishment five decades ago. This is because Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are fully convinced of the strong strategic alliance that brings them together and which is one of the most important sources of power for both of them.

The two countries’ economies are valued at one trillion dollars, the largest in the Middle East. Their exports make them one of the top ten exporters in the world at nearly $700 billion. Today, they have more than 175 initiatives and projects that are expected to create a new reality for the region and a new phase of productive work. They also have the ability and desire for mutual integration in three important levels: the economic, the human and cognitive fields, as well as political, military and security cooperation, not to mention the great consensus that reaches the extent of conformity in the two countries’ positions and their shared vision of regional and international issues and crises.

As usual, the outcome of tours and visits conducted by King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Prince Mohammed bin Salman can be clearly seen. There is a distinct Saudi diplomacy aimed at achieving and protecting national interests and strengthening the role of the Kingdom in the establishment of security, stability and prosperity in the region and the world.

There is no doubt that this Arab tour will bolster Saudi-Arab ties, which are the foundations of Saudi principles. The tour will also stand against regional efforts to achieve their destabilizing agendas, which the area can do without at the moment.

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