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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman has Western leaders very worried

Skip to: Main Content Site Navigation Site footer Site site-search Site Map Network Navigation (other sites) Make news.com.au your homepage Fox Sports CareerOne Carsguide RealEstate News Network News.com.au National World Lifestyle Travel Entertainment Technology Finance Sport Video FacebookTwitterInstagramGooglePlusSearch Sell everything: ‘It will turn very ugly indeed’Sell everything: ‘It will turn very ugly indeed’ Workers ‘win’ $949m lotto ... for 20 minutesSupplied Australian dream puts wedding bells on holdFirst home buyer When winning the lottery ruins your lifeWhen winning the lottery ruins your life ‘The world’s most dangerous man?’‘The world’s most dangerous man?’ Powerball frenzy: You can enter $2 billion lotteryPowerball frenzy: You can enter $2 billion lottery Finance news you need to know todayFinance news you need to know today Renters want pet ban to endRenters want pet ban to end LATEST IN FINANCE work leaders Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman has Western leaders very worried JANUARY 13, 201610:05AM Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of Saudi Arabia newly appointed King Salman, has many people worried. Staff Writernews.com.au Email a friend HE’S just 30 years old and could soon be one of the most powerful people in the Arab world — and that’s probably not a good thing. The new, 80-year-old king of Saudi Arabia, who suffers from dementia, has been criticised since taking the throne last January for his bloodthirsty style as ruler. But it’s his favourite son who has the Western world really worried. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is considered the likely successor of his ageing father. He is currently the gulf kingdom’s defence minister and has been privately criticised for his dangerous geopolitical gambles in the region as Saudi Arabia plays out proxy wars in both Syria and Yemen. Up Next Saudi Arabia Tries Putting Young Face on Aging Monarchy At the end of 2015, Germany’s intelligence agency BND took the unusual step of publishing a one-and-a-half page memo that expressed concerns over an increasingly “impulsive policy of intervention”. Prince bin Salman, they said, was destabilising the Middle East with his dangerous and inexperienced politics. Such is the worry over his brash character that some have wondered if the prince represents “the most dangerous man in the world”. Among confidants and advisers, he has earned a reputation for his volatile behaviour, reported the UK’s Telegraph in November. “He’s a young man proceeding at 250 kilometres an hour,” one of the prince’s advisers told the paper. “There are bound to be people who are upset,” they said of the growing rumblings of concern around the young leader. After becoming the country’s Defence Minister, it didn’t take long for him to show his true colours. Just weeks after his father gave him the crucial role, Saudi Arabia fighter jets led a coalition into action against the Houthi militias in the region’s poorest country, Yemen. A more recent test of his diplomatic style came after the Saudi’s execution of a popular Shia cleric earlier this month which inflamed tensions in the region. Iran’s Shia population retaliated by setting fire to the Saudi Arabia embassy in Tehran. In response, the Saudi ruling family cut off diplomatic ties with the country as relations between the two Middle Eastern powers hit a fresh low. Saudi Arabia has long been a crucial ally to the West, but its intensions are still viewed with suspicion. At least publicly, Prince Mohammed bin Salman says the right thing. But world leaders are unsure if his behaviour will follow suit. “A war between Saudi Arabia and Iran is the beginning of a major catastrophe in the region, and it will reflect very strongly on the rest of the world. For sure we will not allow any such thing,” he toldThe Economist this month. “Iranian escalation has already reached very high levels and we try as hard as we can to not escalate anything further, we only deal with the procedures and steps taken against us,” he said. There could likely be challenges to any future succession to King Salman’s throne but the favourite son already talks of his vision for Saudi Arabia decades ahead, as if he already knows he’ll be the next king, the Telegraph reported. Until that comes to pass, both regional and world leaders will be paying very close attention to the man waiting in the wings. Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif meets with Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif meets with Prince Mohammed bin Salman.Source:AFP featured video Up Next Inside The Saudi Kingdom MORE VIDEOS Lionel Mills gets a rare glimpse at the extravagant lifestyles of Saudi royalty and Prince Saud bin Abdul Mohsen. 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