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Can Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman help Biden lower gas prices?

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At 36, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has made a name for himself on the world stage as the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia. The crown prince is the son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who ascended the throne following the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah, in 2015.

MBS quickly rose in the ranks thanks to his aging father, from a minister of defense to handling day-to-day responsibilities for his father as crown prince.

The crown prince aimed to modernize the kingdom, but his reign continues to be plagued by controversy.

In 2018, the CIA concluded that MBS called the order to kill Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In addition, the crown prince initiated an anti-corruption sting to silence his critics, leading to the arrests of more than a dozen royal family members and a billionaire businessman. 

Despite his deeds, MBS maintains a working relationship with world leaders. For example, before President Joe Biden’s July visit to Saudi Arabia, MBS completed a Middle East tour through Israel, Jordan and Egypt.  

Biden is downplaying any planned meeting with the crown prince during his trip. 

“I’m not going to meet with MBS,” President Biden said. “I’m going to an international meeting.” 

Meanwhile, administration officials said the United States needs to build a better relationship with Saudi Arabia, the second-largest oil producer worldwide, to offset rising energy costs

According to the State Department, Saudi Arabia provides the U.S. with about half a million barrels of oil daily. The Biden administration aims to get the Saudis to increase their exports. 

AP contributed to this report.

JIMMIE JOHNSON: THIS 36-YEAR-OLD CROWN PRINCE HAS QUICKLY MADE A NAME FOR HIMSELF ON THE GLOBAL STAGE AS THE DE FACTO LEADER OF SAUDIA ARABIA.

PRINCE MOHAMMAD BIN SALMAN, M-B-S FOR SHORT, J1N YOU NEED TO KNOW. 

THE CROWN PRINCE IS THE SON OF KING SALMAN – WHO ASCENDED THE THRONE AFTER HIS HALF-BROTHER KING ABDULLAH DIED IN 20-15. 

M-B-S QUICKLY ROSE IN THE RANKS – FROM MINSTER OF DEFENSE TO HANDLING DAY-TO-DAY RESPONSIBILITIES FOR HIS 86-YEAR-OLD FATHER AS CROWN PRINCE. 

MBS: ”Today, we want to make sure this relationship is maintained and improved for the sake of both countries.”

JOHNSON: HE HAD AMBITIOUS GOALS FOR HIS REIGN, INCLUDING MODERNIZING THE KINGDOM. 

BUT EGREGIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS- INCLUDING ACCUSATIONS HE ORDERED THE KILLING OF JOURNALIST JAMAL KHASHOGGI – HAVE OVERSHADOWED THOSE AMBITIONS. 

ALJAZEERA ANCHORWOMAN: “Relations between the two countries have been tense since the killing, but regional and financial challenges have forced Ankara and Riyadh to repair their ties.”

TO SILENCE HIS CRITICS, THE PRINCE ORDERED AN ANTI-CORRUPTION STING LEADING TO THE ARRESTS OF MORE THAN TWO DOZEN ROYAL FAMILY MEMBERS AND A BILLIONAIRE BUSINESSMAN. ALL WERE RELEASED AFTER THEY PAID HIM OFF. 

NOW THE CROWN PRINCE IS WORKING TO WIN OVER WORLD LEADERS, INCLUDING THOSE IN HIS BACKYARD. 

WITH PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN SET TO VISIT SAUDIA ARABIA – THE APPARENT HEIR TO THE THRONE IS ONCE AGAIN A POINT OF CONTENTION. THE ADMINISTRATION SAYS AMERICA NEEDS TO BUILD A BETTER RELATIONSHIP TO OFFSET RISING ENERGY COSTS. BUT BIDEN IS DOWNPLAYING ANY ENCOUNTER WITH THE CROWN PRINCE. 

PRESIDENT BIDEN: “I’m not going to meet with MBS. I’m going to an international meeting.”

JOHNSON: WILL M-B-S BE BIDEN’S WAY TO LOWER GAS PRICES? ONLY TIME WILL TELL.
THE SAUDI CROWN PRINCE – J1N YOU NEED TO KNOW. 

At 36, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has made a name for himself on the world stage as the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia. The crown prince is the son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who ascended the throne following the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah, in 2015.

MBS quickly rose in the ranks thanks to his aging father, from a minister of defense to handling day-to-day responsibilities for his father as crown prince.

The crown prince aimed to modernize the kingdom, but his reign continues to be plagued by controversy.

In 2018, the CIA concluded that MBS called the order to kill Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In addition, the crown prince initiated an anti-corruption sting to silence his critics, leading to the arrests of more than a dozen royal family members and a billionaire businessman. 

Despite his deeds, MBS maintains a working relationship with world leaders. For example, before President Joe Biden’s July visit to Saudi Arabia, MBS completed a Middle East tour through Israel, Jordan and Egypt.  

Biden is downplaying any planned meeting with the crown prince during his trip. 

“I’m not going to meet with MBS,” President Biden said. “I’m going to an international meeting.” 

Meanwhile, administration officials said the United States needs to build a better relationship with Saudi Arabia, the second-largest oil producer worldwide, to offset rising energy costs

According to the State Department, Saudi Arabia provides the U.S. with about half a million barrels of oil daily. The Biden administration aims to get the Saudis to increase their exports. 

AP contributed to this report.

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