BROTHER OF SAUDI BILLIONAIRE PRINCE ALWALEED RE-ARRESTED | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


BROTHER OF SAUDI BILLIONAIRE PRINCE ALWALEED RE-ARRESTED

Among the more notable geopolitical events that took place last week, and which was swept away by the chaos in the capital markets, was Thursday's surprising announcement of a Saudi cabinet reshuffle that moved around some of the key players in the Khashoggi murder scandal (most notably the chief Saudi diplomat, Adel al-Jubeir) and removed Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf al Saud as the Kingdom's ambassador to the UK.

As a result of the reshuffle, more liberals and progressives will move into positions of power, suggesting that it could be part of the Kingdom's plan to move ahead with its 'liberalizing' reforms to try and rehabilitate MbS's tarnished reputation as a reformer. Amid the reshuffle, the king also ordered the creation of a new political and security council (presumably to help protect his chosen successor's flank) and - in a move that is reminiscent of a controversial decision made by President Trump this year - establishes a new Saudi space agency.

The biggest change was the apparent demotion of al-Jubeir to the lesser position of minister of state for foreign affairs and moving Ibrahim al-Assaf, formerly the kingdom's finance minister, to the foreign affairs role.

But perhaps an even more prominent event took place just ahead of the reshuffle, when on Wednesday the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that Saudi authorities have re-arrested the brother of billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal just days following the death of their "reformist" father, after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the arrest of Khalid bin Talal.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would suggest that ultimately, the writers of Middle Eastern history will not be terribly kind to Prince Mohammed bin Salman; and this arrest, coupled with the debacle which is the Saudi genocide in Yemen, will make these changes in personnel somewhat akin to re-arranging the deck chairs on what has now become the "H.M.S. Salmanic"

Because he was born into the opulent wealth for which the Royal House of Saud is known, there may be many honorifics by which he is frequently addressed; but the title I think will stick, long after his death, is that of "The Butcher of Yemen."

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