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Saudi Arabia: Where Ambition and Geopolitics Align

Nov 8, 2017 | 01:23 GMT
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

There is more behind Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's consolidation of power than a simple generational shift in leadership.

(FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Change is in the air in the desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Three days of palace intrigue in Riyadh have captivated Saudis and foreign observers alike as dozens of princes, ministers and former officials were swept up in an anti-corruption campaign led by young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The crackdown is certainly driven by the legitimate motives of restructuring the royal family's patronage networks and curtailing corruption. However, it is also designed to cement the powerful prince's status at the top of the country's economic and political hierarchy. For years bin Salman and his father, King Salman, have meticulously planned the young ruler's rapid ascent to the throne. But their quest to consolidate power is as much a product of Saudi Arabia's geopolitical environment as it is of their personal ambition....

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