Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Graft was costing Saudi govt $20bn a year: Crown Prince

Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seen here during a March 2017 meeting in the White House are to meet again in Washington Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seen here during a March 2017 meeting in the White House are to meet again in Washington
Patty Aguilar | 19 March, 2018, 15:53

Mohammed bin Salman said Saudi Arabia is not actively pursuing a nuclear weapon, but that could change suddenly.

"Only God knows how long one will live, if one would live 50 years or not, but if things go their normal ways, then that's to be expected", bin Salman said in an exclusive interview that aired on the United States news programme 60 Minutes on Sunday evening.

"We are all human beings and there is no difference", he added.

The improvement was disclosed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in an interview with a CBS broadcaster where he said, "We are working on an initiative, which we will launch in the near future, to introduce regulations ensuring equal pay for men and women".

Bin Salman also blamed the social problems and shift towards conservatism in Saudi Arabia on the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

The cost of building the 16 projects could reach $80 billion, creating a huge opportunity for companies that build and operate nuclear plants.

"But U.S. relations also have been strained at times over a continuing dispute between a Saudi-led bloc and Qatar, a key (US) ally in the Middle East".

MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN: We try to focus on the efforts that promote peace for all.

"It will be a short while until they are all eradicated completely", said the Crown Prince.

"Conscription is today a national necessity and should include both men and women", she said. "All actions taken were in accordance with existing and published laws". Numerous USA business and high-tech investors Mohammed hopes to entice to the kingdom are concerned that his rush to power poses risks to foreign investment there.

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Iran backs the Houthi militia that is leading an insurgency against legitimate forces in Yemen.

"I can't imagine that the United States will accept one day to have a militia in Mexico launching missiles on Washington D.C., NY and Los Angeles while Americans are watching these missiles and doing nothing".

In addition, Saudi Arabia will have a seat on Endeavor's global advisory board for the entertainment, sports and fashion powerhouse.

The 32-year-old heir to the throne, who will soon arrive in the United States, discussed a variety of topics, including his stance on gender equality, the anti-corruption crackdown, bombing in Yemen, the conflict with Iran and the fact he bought a $500 million luxury yacht and a $300 million French chateau while preaching austerity at home.

"Its army is not among the top five armies in the Muslim world. Iran is far from being equal to Saudi Arabia".

Entertainment is one of the sectors MBS has made a priority as part of Vision 2030, his plan to wean the kingdom off its dependency on oil while, at the same time, relaxing some of the social restrictions that made it one of the world's most conservative countries.

Earlier this week, an Iraqi lawmaker said bin Salman is expected to make a two-day visit to Iraq.

Since Saudi Arabia's military intervention in 2015, over 10,000 civilians have died and 1 million people are threatened by cholera.

Sunday's interview comes on the eve of the crown prince's two-week visit to the U.S., which begins on Monday, and as part of a Saudi public relations effort to win over the American public, several political analysts have said.

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