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Saudi Crown Prince Flies To Washington To Meet With Donald Trump

Saudi Crown Prince Flies To Washington To Meet With Donald Trump thumbnail

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, responsible for the kingdom’s reforms, left on Monday for Washington to meet President Donald Trump on a visit expected to pitch the world’s top oil exporter as an attractive investment destination. It will be the first meeting since Trump took office in January between the U.S. President and the prince who is next in line to lead Saudi Arabia, and is in charge of the kingdom’s efforts to revive state finances by diversifying away from falling crude oil revenues, of which the upcoming Aramco IPO will be a critical component.

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Under the Saudi plan, which seeks to promote the private sector and make state-owned companies more efficient, Riyadh plans to sell up to 5 percent of state oil giant Saudi Aramco in what is expected to be the world’s biggest initial public offering. Last year, facing a surging budget deficit due to slumping oil prices, the kingdom announced an austerity drive to reduce state spending, although industry sources say it has also promised major development projects later this year to soften the economic impact of those cuts.

According to Reuters, a royal court statement said that in his talks with Trump and other U.S. officials, Prince Mohammed, who heads a supercommittee driving economic reform and is also Saudi defense minister, was expected to “discuss reinforcing bilateral relations and review regional issues of mutual interest”. It said that the working visit would start on Thursday but gave no further details.

John Sfakianakis, director of economic research a the Gulf Research Center, said the focus of the visit would be “to showcase Saudi investment opportunities… the Saudi Aramco IPO as well as the reforms undertaken in the wider economic space.”

The trip takes place less than a year after the prince, son of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the second in line to the throne, visited Silicon Valley to sell his vision of market-oriented reforms and a transformation of the kingdom’s society.


By freeing the kingdom from the statist model of its past, he hopes ultimately to create new private sector jobs for younger people in a country where half the population of 21 million Saudis — there are also 10 million expatriates — are estimated to be under 25.


Younger Saudis face entrenched unemployment, a skills shortage, a lack of housing and growing pressure on living standards as the kingdom’s oil income grows ever less able to finance the needs of a rising population.

Meanwhile, with the crown prince headed to Washington, Saudi king Salman is similarly probing the ground for investment in Asia, and is currently in Japan on a month-long Asia tour to build ties with the world’s fastest growing importers of Saudi crude and promote investment opportunities, including the sale of a stake in its giant state firm Saudi Aramco. He is headed to China soon after.

Trump spoke by telephone with Salman soon after he took office in January and agreed to support safe zones in Syria, according to a White House statement. Salman invited Trump “to lead a Middle East effort to defeat terrorism and to help build a new future, economically and socially,” for Saudi Arabia and the region, Saudi media reported. Before his departure for the United States, Prince Mohammed met Citigroup’s CEO Michael Corbat in Riyadh on Sunday for a similar discussion on investment opportunities in the kingdom and globally, SPA reported.

As a reminder, Saudi Arabia was one of the most aggressive financial backers of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, which could prove problematic for the upcoming trip seeking US generosity. Furthermore, with the US itself desperate for Trump’s economic proposals to lead to renewed spending domestically, the Saudis may have to get in line.

4 Comments on "Saudi Crown Prince Flies To Washington To Meet With Donald Trump"

  1. Cloggie on Mon, 13th Mar 2017 9:38 am 

    Old Trump interviews:


    (I don’t want to be president)

    (Oprah; perhaps president)


  2. BobInget on Mon, 13th Mar 2017 10:40 am 

    Saudi are desperate. Oil prices are going South.
    Cash and crude reserves quickly diminishing.
    Don’t be shocked if forthcoming Aramco IPO gets put off several months to a year. Besides, Aramco, never known for transparency, loath to have foreigners mucking about.

    DJT needs to keep gasoline prices at bay in order to keep his base intact. UNLESS he can show with alternative facts, America is once again threatened by evil Muslims… Not the good kind represented by KSA,
    but the ‘really really bad sort, Iran, Yemen, etc.’.

    In EXCHANGE the Saudi will pledge all the oil America needs at ‘reasonable’ prices.

    The fly in this ointment has to be V. Putin. If Saudi attacks Iran they need to deal with Russia.

    This very month, we will see which oil power President DJT is beholding. Common wisdom will pick Putin.
    I say, how many shares of Aramco or Rosneft offered our president will determine the outcome.

    My guess? bin Salman will ask ‘permission’ for nuclear weapons to defend itself from starving Yemenites* that are disrupting oil shipments… or… intend to.
    *Translation: Iran.

  3. Midnight Oil on Mon, 13th Mar 2017 12:49 pm 

    The Godfather will see you now..
    He’ll. make you an offer you can refuse.
    What is my oil doing underneath your sand?

  4. BobInget on Mon, 13th Mar 2017 3:03 pm 

    March 13 2017 09:09 PM

    “A senior eniorofficial official at Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) warned yesterday of a possible declaration of force majeure at the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf oil terminals, as air strikes continued and rival forces mobilised fighters in the area.
    NOC board member Jadalla Alaokali said force majeure, a legal waiver for contractual obligations, would “likely” be declared if violence continued, though he gave no time-frame.
    Libya’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) lost control of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf to a rival faction, the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB), 10 days ago.
    Both sides have since been mobilising, and the LNA has been conducting daily air strikes in the area.
    Most workers have left the ports.
    Es Sider and Ras Lanuf are two of Libya’s largest oil ports, but have been operating at a fraction of their maximum capacity because of damage in previous rounds of fighting.
    Alaokali said Libya’s national oil output stood at just over 615,000 barrels per day (bpd), down from around 700,000 bpd before the conflict around the oil ports broke out.
    The BDB says it has handed control of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf to a unit of Libya’s Petroleum Facilities Guard aligned with a UN-backed government in Tripoli, and that the NOC can continue to operate there. But it is unclear who is in control on the ground.
    Oil is no longer being pumped to Es Sider, forcing Waha Oil Co to halt production and also affecting output by Harouge Oil Operations.
    Both companies are NOC joint ventures.
    “It’s likely that force majeure will be declared at the two ports if clashes continue close to them,” Alaokali said.
    A witness in the Ras Lanuf area said the LNA had mobilised thousands of men nearby and that air strikes had intensified late on Sunday. “The noise of the planes was heard over Ras Lanuf town and the explosions were loud and powerful,” he said.
    Military officials said the strikes targeted four groups of BDB fighters, and had inflicted casualties on the BDB and destroyed some of their vehicles.
    The claim could not be independently verified.
    The violence in Libya’s Oil Crescent has raised concerns of a new escalation of conflict in Libya between eastern and western based factions that have been competing for power since 2014.
    The head of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Seraj, has called for the withdrawal of military forces from the area, and said the Petroleum Facilities Guard should be brought under the control of the NOC.”

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