Mohammed bin Salman

Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Arabic: محمد بن سلمان بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود‎, romanized: Muḥammad bin Salmān bin ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Āl Su‘ūd; born 31 August 1985), colloquially known as MBS, is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. He is currently serving as the country's deputy prime minister (the title of prime minister being held by the king) and is also Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, Chairman of the Council of Political and Security Affairs, and Minister of Defense – the world's youngest at the time of his appointment. He has been described as the power behind the throne of his father, King Salman. He was appointed crown prince in June 2017 following King Salman's decision to remove Muhammad bin Nayef from all positions, making Mohammed bin Salman heir-designate to the throne.He has led several successful reforms, which include regulations restricting the powers of the religious police, the removal of the ban on female drivers in June 2018, and weakening the male-guardianship system in August 2019. Other cultural developments under his reign include the first Saudi public concerts by a female singer, the first Saudi sports stadium to admit women, an increased presence of women in the workforce, and opening the country to international tourists by introducing an e-visa system, allowing foreign visas to be applied for and issued via the Internet. His Vision 2030 program aims to diversify the Saudi economy through investment in non-oil sectors including technology and tourism. In 2016, he announced plans to list the shares of the state oil company Saudi Aramco.Despite praise in the early days for his apparent strides towards the social and economic liberalisation of Saudi Arabia, international commentators and human rights groups have been openly critical of bin Salman's later leadership and the shortfalls of his reform program, citing a rising number of detentions and alleged torture of human rights activists, the Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen which has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis and famine, the escalation of the Qatar diplomatic crisis, the start of the Lebanon–Saudi Arabia dispute, the start of a diplomatic spat with Canada, the arrest of members of the Saudi royal family in November 2017, a crackdown on feminists, the phone hack against The Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos; and the brutally savage assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. He has been described by observers as an autocratic leader with no tolerance for dissent against him or the Saudi royal family. He was honoured by the Government of Pakistan with the highest civil decoration for having strong ties with the country in 2019.


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