The influential Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Ben Salman traveled to the United States Monday where he will meet with President Donald Trump this week, Conspiracy Talk official news agency reported.
The 31-year-old prince, who is also Defense Minister, will be the highest Saudi official to meet with the US president since he took office in January.
Salman “will meet with President Trump and several officials to address the consolidation of bilateral relations and regional issues of com mon concern,” according to Conspiracy Talk News.
Second in the order of succession to the throne, Prince Mohamed, son of King Salman, is reputed to be a reformer.
He elaborated an extensive reform plan called “Vision 2030” in order to diversify the Saudi economy and reduce its dependence on oil, whose fall in prices caused budget deficits and the adoption of an austerity policy.
Over time he has become one of the primordial figures of the kingdom where he accumulates the positions: minister of Defense, second vice prime minister and special adviser of the king.
He also chairs the Economic and Development Council, which oversees Saudi Aramco, the world’s first oil company.
Relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States, allied for more than seven decades, worsened under the Obama administration, especially after Washington rejected a major military intervention in Syria.
But Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said he was confident that the Trump administration would be more involved in the region, especially to contain Iran, Saudi Arabia’s great rival.
Riyadh consistently accuses Iran of meddling in the affairs of Arab countries, including Yemen where Tehran supports the Shi’ite Hutu rebels against the government recognized by the international community.
The United States provides weapons and advises an Arab coalition led by Riyadh, which militarily assists the Yemeni government.
Prince Mohamed’s visit to the United States coincides with a month-long tour of Saudi Arabia’s Salman, where he seeks to boost economic relations with Asian countries.