Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Visit to the United States: A Personal Perspective

On March 23, 2018, Al Jazeera Arabic’s program Min Washington, a weekly current affairs show hosted by Dr. Abderrahim Foukara, interviewed National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony.

The focus of the interview was on Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. The Crown Prince is currently visiting the United States.

Following is a transcript of the interview. Included at the end is an additional question asked and answered that did not make it into the program’s final cut. The transcript has been edited for clarity.


Min Washington: Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Dr. John Duke Anthony has followed developments in the Arab region closely for decades. This includes Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Anthony, how do you assess the visit of the Crown Prince to the United States and its timing?

Dr. Anthony: What Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince is doing is what he has not yet done extensively beyond his meetings with U.S. officials in Washington, D.C., and various private sector leaders in New York City.

In this instance, he is spending time in those two cities again but with additional groups and individuals in both places and, also, in other locations such as Boston, Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley in California.

Beyond meetings in Washington, D.C., Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the United States has included (clockwise starting at top) discussions with Christian and Jewish religious leaders, meetings with former U.S. leaders such as former President Bill Clinton, coffee with businessman and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg, and the signing of an agreement with SoftBank and its founder Masayoshi Son to develop an ambitious $200 billion solar power project. Photos: Saudi Press Agency and Saudi Royal Court.

He is doing this for two broad strategic reasons.

One stems from his awareness that he is largely unknown to large and significant sectors among the American people.

The other is his wanting to build on the meetings he had last year with President Trump and members of his staff – here as well as in Riyadh.

Continue reading “Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Visit to the United States: A Personal Perspective”

A Quiet Revolution: Renewable Energy in the GCC Economies

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) oil and gas producers face the long-term question of how much and how quickly global markets will move from fossil fuels toward cleaner energy. With one of the region’s key strategic and economic concerns being long-term energy demand, Gulf oil producers have long acknowledged that they have an interest in being ahead of the game in planning for future demand reductions in their key markets.

The Paris Agreement of December 2015 may provide clues to the future of clean energy in that it incentivizes increasingly ambitious climate targets and actions by participating states. If the accord is translated into lasting policies across different economies, and depending on the extent to which the policies are implemented, it may be that future generations will use and benefit from a cleaner, more sustainable energy supply. What might also occur is that oil and to some extent gas producers will face a progressively uncertain future for their fossil fuel-based exports.

Continue reading “A Quiet Revolution: Renewable Energy in the GCC Economies”