Monday, June 26, 2017

Saudi Arabia’s generational swing: Nayef is out, Prince Mohammed is in

Naveed Ahmad,

Prince Muhammad Bin Salman image from article

Since the decree to change the succession order, Saudi Arabia has witnessed measured transition from the older generation to the younger ones, who invariably are western-educated with multilingual skills. In order to deal with so much on his platter, the crown prince requires the best minds and synergy. To start with, easing working condition for labor and lifting the ban on female driving are two potential moves with far-reaching economic and social dividends, that will also help him with the much-need soft image.

Besides domestic reforms the kingdom is in dire need of, the country’s diplomatic interface too has been reactive and transactional. Devoid of public diplomacy, Riyadh has long dealt with allies as merchandise, doling out financial packages or free oil shipment to appease them. With a post-oil economy on the horizon, the time has come to replace the old-fashioned diplomatic doctrine with pro-active statesmanship that goes beyond brinkmanship.

Prince Mohammed of Saudi Arabia and Emir Tamim of Qatar represent the younger generation of leaders in the Gulf. ...

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