U.K. Welcomes Saudi Prince in Push for International Credibility
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s lightning reform program for Saudi Arabia will face its first test abroad Wednesday as he holds talks in London at the start of a tour of capitals designed to burnish his credentials as a leader in waiting.
He will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II as he seeks to put foreign policy controversies in Yemen, Lebanon and Qatar to one side and prove he can be a reliable partner as Britain seeks to forge new relationships after voting to quit the European Union.
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The prince, who has overseen a series of domestic reforms and a crackdown on corruption since his appointment in June, will then travel on to meet President Donald Trump in Washington before taking his charm offensive to cities across the U.S. He stopped off in Egypt on his way to London.
“Prince Mohammed will want to reassure investors after the November purge and asset grab, demonstrate that he can conclude deals and seek to improve the kingdom’s tarnished image,” said James Dorsey, a Middle East specialist at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. “He will also want to solidify support for his tough anti-Iranian stance and try to win greater empathy for his boycott of Qatar.”
The U.K. government said it will raise concerns over human rights and the war in Yemen. Still, Foreign Secretary Bori....