Saudi crown prince soaks in Trump’s praise


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

At 32, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman controls a vast fortune, a well-heeled military and the future of a nation in the throes of sweeping economic and social change.

His ambitious bid to remake Saudi Arabia received a ringing endorsement Tuesday from President Donald Trump as the future leader opened a marathon tour of the United States.

Soaking in Trump’s plaudits in the Oval Office, Prince Mohammed said little and left most of the talking to his host, who offered an optimistic forecast of lucrative U.S. arms sales to the kingdom and more Saudi investment in the United States.

Thousands of American jobs will result, Trump said, even voicing approval for the crown prince’s “tremendous” move last year to push aside his older cousin to become first-in-line to his father King Salman’s throne.

“Your father made a very wise decision,” Trump said.

Prince Mohammed is on a mission during his three-week U.S. visit to improve the perception of his nation in the eyes of Americans, who have viewed Saudi Arabia warily because of its conservative social mores, unequal treatment of women and, more recently, deadly military campaign in Yemen.

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