Q&A: Mohammad Bin Salman’s Visit to Britain, America and France
Question: Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman, concluded his visit to France, which started on Monday 09/04/2018 and lasted two days until 10/04/2018. He has previously visited Britain on 10/03/2018 for three days. Followed by a visit to America, from 20/03/2018 until 08/04/2018… He was received as a head of a state. So what is behind these visits? What is striking is that these visits are to parties of different interests; what is common between them? Please clarify the matter, and may Allah reward you with the good.
Answer: The main visit is Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS)’s visit to America. His visit to Britain is a consolation visit, because he has carried out harsh measures on its agents in Saudi Arabia. His visit to France is a visit on the sidelines to create an atmosphere of fame for himself, so that it is said that Bin Salman visited the major countries in America and Europe; here are the details:
First: Mohammad Bin Salman’s visit to Britain:
Mohammad Bin Salman’s visit to Britain commenced on 07/03/2018 and lasted three days until 10/03/2018. As we mentioned at the beginning, it was a visit to console Britain, because MBS knows that Britain has strong roots in the Saudi royal family and therefore it can create problems for him. And therefore he visited Britain to create an atmosphere of calm by offering some economic deals though they were not many.
This was confirmed in the final statement. It was closer to a normal visit with usual agreements with unspecified general words, except for some economic offers. For example, the final statement stated:
A) Some common generalities in routine final statements:
The United Kingdom affirms its strong support for Saudi Vision 2030 and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s economic and social reform program aimed at diversifying the economy.
– Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and British Prime Minister, Theresa May, on Wednesday launched the annual Strategic Partnership Council as a key mechanism for regular dialogue to strengthen all aspects of the bilateral relationship…. Saudi Arabia praises the experience and experiment of the United Kingdom in the various education sectors ranging from kindergarten, primary and secondary education to higher education and excellence in vocational training skills… Saudi Arabia is aware of the British experience in health care… the United Kingdom praised the importance of the successful listing of Saudi Aramco as part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s economic reform plan… and Saudi Arabia supported the position of London as a major global financial center…
The London Stock Exchange Group has agreed with the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) on the Capacity Building and Training Program to help develop stock markets. Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom have stressed the importance of defense and security relations and their role in achieving common national security and regional stability. The two countries announced their intention to focus efforts to combat terrorism and extremism by exchanging information and understanding the ways in which terrorists and extremists influence vulnerable groups. The two countries have signed a number of memorandums of understanding to deepen cooperation and partnership between them. It also includes the signing of a memorandum of intent declaring the desire of the two sides to complete discussions between them to reach an agreement for the Kingdom to receive 48 additional Typhoon aircrafts. The two countries also stressed the need for Iran to abide by the principles of good neighborliness and non-interference in the internal affairs of the countries.
B) Some political and security matters that are general, not focused or specific in a detailed solution to the issues:
– The two countries stressed the importance of reaching a political solution to the crisis in Yemen on the basis of the GCC initiative and its implementation mechanisms, and the results of Yemen’s national dialogue and Security Council Resolution 2216, which will lead to a political solution that will guarantee Yemen’s security and territorial integrity. The two sides expressed their strong support for the newly appointed UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffith… They agreed on the importance of the international community pressing the Houthi militia to allow unimpeded humanitarian access… The United Kingdom welcomed Saudi Arabia’s continued commitment to ensure that the campaign of the military alliance is in accordance with international humanitarian law… the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to a two-state solution, based on the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant UN resolutions.
C) Some economic deals with the intent of consolation, as a result of the actions of Bin Salman against the Britain’s men:
– Saudi Arabia and the UK are committed to a long-term partnership to support the realization of Vision 2030, to encompass a range of areas, including: Assessing opportunities and mutual investments with the UK (and through it) by the Public Investment Fund and bilateral trade… Together these opportunities amount to as much as $100 billion over 10 years, including the Public Investment Fund (PIF) with direct investments of up to $30 billion.
– The United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia have welcomed a large number of major trade deals agreed upon during the visit; they are expected to exceed $2 billion, creating and securing jobs and prosperity in Saudi Arabia and the UK.
It is clear from all this that the visit does not go beyond its purpose, consolation and calm, most of it was general exchange of words, except for some of the economic promises, which are not as significant and aren’t of weight.
Second: Mohammad Bin Salman’s visit to the United States of America:
The follower of MBS’s visits to America sees that America is moulding MBS as its obedient slave; it humiliates him in front of his face and he smiles and it blackmails him and he surrenders; here is the clarification:
1) After taking over the rule after the death of his brother, Abdullah, on 23/1/2015, King Salman began quick procedures to install his rule and those who will come after him. He removed his brother, Muqrin bin Abdulaziz from the Crown Prince post, who is loyal to Britain, and appointed his son Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS) as Crown Prince, and handed over to him many powers to strengthen his authority. He removed and isolated many of his rivals and those pro-Britain in his family, and showed his strong loyalty to America. The second step was to get the Americans closer with the MBS and his abilities, and to get to know him well and to test his loyalty to America. So he visited Washington on 15/3/2017 after the official inauguration of Trump as President of America, and Trump received him at the highest level in the White House in the presence of his vice president, Pence, and his US national security, raising the visit’s level. Trump showed his support for Bin Salman. The other step came on 4/11/2017 to strengthen the authority of MBS by clipping the wings of the British agents and others and subjecting everyone to his control, and humiliating and blackmailing them to freeze their accounts, when hundreds of princes, ministers, officials and businessmen were held under the name of fighting corruption. He declared that he collected from them $100 billion.
And now, comes the penultimate step; his visit to Washington for the second time to strengthen his loyalty to America and strengthen ties with it and to prepare for the last step, his appointment as the actual king at a time they expect soon. When Bin Salman began his foreign visits, he was received as a king, as happened in Egypt on 4/3/2018, and his visit to Britain on 7/3/2018 where he was received by the Queen, then followed the reception and long visit to America which confirms this. Trump pointed this out when addressing Bin Salman: “There have been some wonderful things since your last visit to the White House. “You were the crown prince” during your last visit, he said, “and now you are beyond the crown prince.”” (Russian Sputnik 21/3/2018)
2) So as soon as Bin Salman reached Washington, he met with President Trump on 20/3/2018 CE. Trump said: “It’s a great honor to have the Crown Prince with us, Saudi Arabia has been a very great friend …I was in Saudi Arabia in May. And we are bringing back hundreds of billions of dollars into the United States… And the other thing that I really am very happy about is that we talked about 400 billion dollars’ worth of investment,” He continued: “We understand each other. Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy nation, and they’re going to give the United States some of that wealth hopefully, in the form of jobs, in the form of the purchase of the finest military equipment anywhere in the world.”
Bin Salman responded: “the relations between Saudi Arabia and United States of America, its old relation… More than 80 years of alliance and big interest — politically, economically, and security, in different area — a lot of area… And the foundation for relation, it’s really huge and really deep…we’ve planned to tackle 200 billion U.S. dollars for opportunities in the next four years, but it end up with 400 billion U.S. dollar for opportunities”. (CNN 20/3/2018).
America is blackmailing Saudi Arabia and plundering the wealth of Muslims through the rulers who betrayed the trust and betrayed the Ummah. What matters to Trump and the Americans is the suction of Muslim money through the Saud family, who declare their allegiance and alliance to the kuffar, and serve them by protecting their interest in the Middle East, and by financing their economy and paying all the costs of defending their interests.
3) Trump displayed cue cards in front of the cameras and put them against the chest of Bin Salman with drawings and pictures of weapons Saudi Arabia will buy from America and will receive soon. He numbered the deals and types of weapons worth billions, saying to him: “This is peanuts for you.” Trump said: “These deals will provide new jobs (in America) is expected to reach 40 thousand jobs.” (Sputnik Russian 21/3/2018) What remains is that Trump puts a rope in the cards and attaches it to the neck of Bin Salman as if he sends him a message that our support to you is in return for what money you give us, and make the land for our use, and do everything we ask without any objection. This act was an insult to Bin Salman who responded by smiling like a fool while Trump behaves in a rude and indifferent manner.
4) During MBS’s visit, he met with many officials in the Administration and in other important sectors:
A) He met with US Defense Secretary, Mattis, and Chief of Staff, Danford, affirming his loyalty to America: “Today’s challenges are not the first that the two countries face. Today we are facing a serious challenge in the region and the world, whether from the actions of the Iranian regime or the challenges of terrorist organizations,” he said. (Al-Wi’am Saudi Newspaper 24/3/2018). “We must also reinvigorate urgent efforts to seek a peaceful resolution to the civil war in Yemen and we support you in this regard.”, “US Defense Secretary, Mattis, told Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. “We are going to end this war and on positive terms for the people of Yemen, that is the bottom line”, he also pledged to work with Riyadh to boost “stability and security” in the region (Reuters, 22/3/2018). The issue of Yemen is an issue in which America has not achieved its final goals yet, and Saudi Arabia, which has done the job to achieve America’s goals, is still in crisis and has not been able to get out of. The end of this issue and the exit of Saudi Arabia safely strengthen the authority of Bin Salman.
B) He met with a number of newspapers, and made statements showing his strong attachment to America:
– Bin Salman made statements to Time Magazine on 31/3/2018 in which he said: “We believe American troops should stay for at least the mid-term, if not the long-term…United States of America need to have cards to negotiate and to apply pressure. If you get these troops out, you lose this card“… “Bashar is staying,” he said. “But I believe that Bashar’s interests is not to let the Iranians do whatever they want they want to do.” US President Trump said on Tuesday. 3/4/2018: “I want to get out [of Syria]. I want to bring our troops back home. I want to start rebuilding our nation.”
“As far as Syria is concerned, our primary mission in terms of that was getting rid of ISIS. We’ve almost completed that task. And we’ll be making a decision very quickly in coordination with others in the area as to what we’ll do. Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision. And I said, well, you know, you want us to stay, maybe you’re going to have to pay.”(AFP, 3/4/2018). Thus, Trump continues the policy of blackmailing the Al Saud regime, which is keen to maintain US influence in the region.
He also made statements to the Atlantic magazine on 2/4/2018 when asked: “Do you think the Jewish people have the right to have a nation state at least in part of their ancestral homeland?” he said:
“I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation…I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.” (Al Wi’am Saudi website 3/4/2018)
Bin Salman did not hide his betrayal even against the Blessed Land, the Land of Isra and Maraj.
– And in the name of entertainment, he put a huge budget. Chairman of the General Authority for Entertainment in Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Bin Aqeel Al Khatib, announced “the intention of the Authority to invest up to 240 billion riyals, equivalent to 64 billion dollars in the entertainment sector over the next ten years.” And announced the construction of the Opera House, the first since the founding of the Kingdom “(Saudi Al Arabya website 22/2/2018).
– The Washington Post, on the fourth and final day of its visit to Washington and meeting with its officials on 24/3/2018, held an interview with Bin Salman who said, “During the meeting, the war in Yemen, the Middle East peace process, Iran, the internal reform process, and the Saudi nuclear aspirations were discussed.” He said his main task in America is to win the confidence of US investors in addition to access technological and educational assistance to support the reform efforts in Saudi Arabia. He said to the newspaper issues regarding granting women many of their rights… This means that the files of the entire region were opened before him and discussed with him. So he is aware on how to execute them and rush in its support and execution with the Americans. Apart to the question of Yemen, there is the Trump plan in the Middle East and the solution to the question of Palestine; he (Trump) said that he will announce a plan in the coming months after he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of a Jewish entity on 6/12/2017. And the issue of making Iran the enemy instead of the Jewish entity which he (Bin Salman) will reconcile with, as well as to change Saudi domestic policy to what America wants; to secularize the country and to disseminate the Western civilization values in it, as well as to give American investors opportunities to totally control the economy in the country.
Arabic 21 website, on 29/3/ 2018, quoted The Independent British newspaper as saying that it had seen the program of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, which includes meetings with executives of major companies, politicians, oil men, and workers in technology, entertainment and the arts aiming to hold contacts with the American public opinion. CBS station conducted an interview with him on the program “Sixty Minutes”, the first interview conducted by the station with a Saudi leader for decades. He used this opportunity to enhance his image as a young bold reformer carrying out necessary reforms, such as limiting the religious police authority and allowing women to drive. The newspaper mentioned that he met with former officials on Tuesday (27/3/2018) like Kissinger, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton and others, and with many large newspapers owners, and will meet with former President Obama, and former Secretary of State John Kerry, and David Petraeus.
– More submissiveness and subordination were shown by Bin Salman when he sent, as he left America to France, a message of loyalty to Trump’s America, in which he said: “Your Excellency, President Donald Trump of the United States of America, greetings: I am pleased as I leave your country, our ally, to extend to you my thanks and gratitude for the hospitality to me and the accompanying delegation, and to take this opportunity to pay tribute once again to the historical and strategic relations between our two countries, which are witnessing further development in all fields, and I cannot fail to stress that the discussions that took place during the visit will contribute to deepening these relations and To strengthen them, and to strengthen the bonds of mutual cooperation,… wishing you good health and happiness, and to the people of the United States of America to continue progress and prosperity”
We conclude discussing this visit by repeating what we said at the beginning. (The follower of Bin Salman’s visits to America sees that America is moulding Bin Salman as its obedient slave; it humiliates him in front of his face and smiles and it blackmails him and he surrenders).
Third: Mohammad Bin Salman’s visit to France:
1) The visit of Bin Salman to France is a passing visit on the sidelines to create an atmosphere of fame for Bin Salman, so it is said he visited the West, from Britain to America and then the European Union (France). And because of the lack of importance of this visit, it lacked even the routine of diplomacy in international visits. For example, “An official at the French prime minister’s office said on Monday that the Saudi Crown Prince canceled a visit to a large gathering of emerging technology companies in Paris to highlight the depth of French-Saudi relations in technology. According to the LA Tribune: The cancellation of Prince Mohammed’s visit to the “Station F” complex might leave Macron feeling frustrated, especially since Bin Salman visited the technology giants in the Silicon Valley in the United States last week, Bin Salman put a condition to visit this complex that provoked Macron’s anger…”.
The Arab World Site on 09/04/2018, citing (© REUTERS / POOL) reported:
LA Tribune revealed that the Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman has angered French President Emmanuel Macron by putting a condition for French firms to benefit from commercial contracts with the Kingdom, the newspaper said. “Bin Salman explained to Macron that French companies, such as American groups, could benefit from contracts with the Kingdom, provided it does not trade with Iran, “adding that this condition provoked Macron’s anger.
2) And what they have been ‘boasting’ about the strategic partnership contract was not signed, but they postponed the signature for eight months until the end of the year 2018.
It is known that the changes in international policy are rapid. Therefore, the promises of signing the agreements or contracts concluded are often not fulfilled especially if the deadlines are long. Sources close to the French presidency announced to reporters that Macron and Mohammed Bin Salman will prepare a strategic document that will be ready by the end of the year. This will result in contracts that will be taken (by Macron) to Saudi Arabia by the end of the year to be signed (Al Bayan 10/4/2018). Al Arabiya net also reported on Monday 9/4/2018: “The president and the prince will work on a strategic document that will be ready by the end of the year and produce contracts that will be signed when Macron goes to Saudi Arabia before the end of the year,” this is also reported in France 24, on 09/04/2018.
3) Moreover what the French President has announced is within the framework of hope and under the protocols that need to be negotiated and consulted to be effective contracts:
“We hope for new cooperation, focusing less on current contracts and more on investments for the future, particularly in the digital and renewable energy fields,” the French Presidency said. (AFP 5/ 04/2018)
The visit of Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to France is expected to culminate in the signing of some 12 protocols agreement in various fields, such as tourism, where Paris will help Riyadh to highlight the site of the Al Hijr (Mada’in Salih) listed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage in the north-west of the Kingdom as well as other fields such as health, energy, transport, etc. (AFP, 08/04/2018)
4) Therefore, no significant economic contracts were signed in this visit, because it was a short visit (two days), which caused embarrassment to the Elysee Palace. This is why the response to a question about the brief visit of the Saudi prince to France after a three-week visit to the United States, it stated: The Elysee welcomed the inclusion of France as one of the first foreign visits of the Crown Prince … (France 24 / AFP 05/04/2018), and not signing the contracts also caused embarrassment for the Elysee: “On the other hand, a French diplomatic source told France 24 that France “is not pursuing commercial contracts with Saudi Arabia as in the past, but it is seeking to build a partnership of identical visions based on long-term economic and technological development. “(AFP, 08/04/2018)
5) With all the above, to give justice to that visit, there is an agreement that has already been signed, an agreement that won the heart of Bin Salman; an agreement was signed to establish a national orchestra and an opera house, and where? In the land of the two Holy Mosques!! French Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen said Paris would help Riyadh build an orchestra and an opera house. “Today an agreement was signed with the Paris Opera House to help Saudi Arabia establish a national orchestra and an opera house,” Nyssen said after signing agreements with Culture and Information Minister Awad al-Awad in Paris. Arab World website on 09/04/2018 (© REUTERS / POOL)
Bin Salman before this agreement paid a special visit on Sunday before his official visit, he attended a concert concluding the Easter Festival in southern France: Prince Salman arrived on Sunday 08/04/2018 coming from the United States. He is attending a concert to conclude Easter Festival in the city of Aix-en-Provence near Marseille in the south of the country to enjoy the music of the classical authors Debussy, Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn. (AFP 08/04/2018)
6) So the visit was not significant neither in terms of agreements nor contracts, unless the Opera House is considered significant, we seek refuge in Allah from this! This was clear at the final press conference held on Tuesday10/4/ 2018, and was published in the media on 11/4/2018 CE. It stated that protocols and agreement of intentions were agreed upon, except the Opera House, it has already been signed! Aljazeera net published on 11/4/2018: The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman concluded on Tuesday a two-day visit to France with the signing of 19 protocol agreements between French and Saudi companies with a total value of more than 18 billion dollars. The agreements of intent relate to industrial sectors such as Petrochemicals and water treatment, as well as tourism, culture, health and agriculture … Among the most prominent agreements is the announcement by Saudi Aramco oil company, to sign agreements worth more than $ 12 billion with French companies, including Total, Technip and Suez for the joint development of a petrochemical site in Jubail (Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia) , in which the French group owns the largest refinery in the world. Even these agreements with Aramco are not limited only to the development of Aramco’s business, but rather focuses more on the development of the financial income of the French refinery.
This was also reported in AFP on 11 April 2018, from the press conference. The source also stated: “At the end of the visit of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to France on Tuesday, the countries signed 19 protocol agreements between French and Saudi companies with a total value of more than 18 billion dollars. The letters of intent are related to industrial sectors such as petrochemicals and water treatment, as well as tourism, culture, health and agriculture, according to a statement issued by the French-Saudi Business Forum, which includes employers and representatives of both governments”.
In the press conference, Macron and Bin Salman mentioned routine issues such as Iran, the nuclear agreement, Syria, Yemen, etc. without specifying real solution to these issues.
We repeat what we said above: The main visit is to America; his visit to Britain is a consolation visit because he has carried out harsh measures against its agents in Saudi Arabia. His visit to France is a visit on the sidelines to create an atmosphere of fame for Bin Salman, so it is said that he visited the major countries in America and Europe.
24 Rajab 1439 AH