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TOPIC: mbs


MBS Forever? The Saudi Crown Prince Is A Real Problem — And Here To Stay

The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is getting a warm reception after arriving in France for an extended stay. He has attempted to modernize his country's image, but can the West turn a blind eye to deep moral problems in his leadership.


PARIS — It's a textbook case that should be taught to future diplomats: an example of cynicism — or realism, depending on the preferred analytical grid. A model, in any case, of the contradictions and embarrassments of our world.

Mohammed Bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, has arrived in Paris with a huge entourage. He will spend no fewer than 10 days in France, where he owns a multi-million-dollar chateau. His agenda is packed: a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace, and attendance at a summit on financing the developing world, scheduled for next week.

But the jackpot that "MBS", as he is known, is hoping to win is the 2030 World Expo. The decision is due to be made in a few months' time, and Paris is the headquarters of the organization that awards these global mega-fairs. MBS will be lobbying hard for this project, which will join the long list of trophies the kingdom has won in the sports, cultural and entertainment fields.

I was talking about contradictions and embarrassments at the start: we're right in the middle of it. When Joe Biden arrived at the White House, he talked about making Saudi Arabia a pariah country, because Khashoggi was a refugee in the U.S. The U.S. President had to give up, as the balance of power was not in his favor.

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Saudi Ambitions: Is MBS A New Nasser For The Middle East?

Mohammed bin Salman, aka MBS, is positioning the Saudi kingdom to be a global force of diplomacy in a way that challenges a longstanding alliance with Washington. But does the young prince have a singular vision for the interests of both his nation and the world?


PARIS — In the Lebanese daily L'Orient-le-Jour, which has no particular attachment to the Saudi government, Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's Crown Prince, was recently described as a man "who is taking on an importance that no Arab leader has had since Nasser."

That's right: this is the very same Mohamed bin Salman who had been considered an international pariah for ordering the sordid murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

So what has "MBS," as he calls himself, done to be compared to the greatest Arab nationalist leader of the 20th century, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who died in 1970? The Crown Prince has taken advantage of the shockwaves of the war in Ukraine to emancipate himself from any oversight, and to develop a diplomacy which, it must be admitted, is hard to keep up with.

Saudi Arabia thus embodies those mid-level powers that defy all the codes of international alliances, and do as they please – for better or for worse.

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Lebanon, Why The Crisis Is Only Just Beginning


BEIRUT — Since its independence in 1943, Lebanon has been exposed to the vicissitudes of the Middle East's complicated geopolitics, from the creation of Israel, which led to a massive influx of Palestinian refugees on Lebanese soil, to the recent war in Syria, not to mention Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon.

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