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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prepares to leave for Silicon Valley

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 18 March 2018, 17:00 IST

Saudi Arabia's new and controversial Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, prepares to visit to the US where he is scheduled to meet President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Crown Prince has already favor with the Trump administration, winning over the president and his family. He will meet court government officials, Silicon Valley techies, and big-buck investors. He will meet Trump at the White House on Tuesday and then is expected to travel over the next two weeks to Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Seattle, Boston and Houston, where he will confer with oil and energy executives. The meeting at White House will also focus on his country's economic challenge.

Crown Prince said, "Saudi Arabia is perhaps the world’s most influential Islamic state."

He and his closest advisors are in a hurry to change the perception about Saudi Arabia. According to him, Saudi Arabia’s modernization requires an embrace of “moderate Islam.” He has been slammed for his extremist ideology. Also, he has publicly denounced extremism.

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Last year, President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia, where the crown prince's father planned to fight terrorism and to counter Riyadh's bitter regional rival Iran.

Crown Prince is keen to attract American investment and business. He is also promoting a development blueprint he calls Saudi Vision 2030.

The executive director of the Arabia Foundation, in a commentary in Fox News said, "His domestic reforms go hand in hand with his head-on fight against extremism."

In an interview to CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell, the Crown Prince said that Saudi Arabia “is the oldest ally to the US in the Middle East before any other country.”

“Saudi-American relations are historic going back nearly 80 years,” he said.

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First published: 18 March 2018, 17:00 IST