How SAudi crown prince purged royAl fAm­ily ri­vAlS

Spec­u­la­tion is that King Sal­man will soon ab­di­cate in favour of MbS.

The Sunday Guardian - - World - REUTERS

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War in Ye­men, a dis­pute with the Gulf emi­rate of Qatar and grow­ing ten­sion with Iran is a con­cern to in­vestors too.

It should help that Prince Mo­hammed, fol­low­ing the ex­am­ple of Ibn Saud, sees the im­por­tance of forg­ing a spe­cial bond with the United States.

Dur­ing a visit to Saudi Ara­bia in May, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump urged Riyadh to lead an al­liance against Iran and its at­tempt to cut a Shi‘ite axis through Iraq, Syria and Le­banon.

Soon af­ter­wards, Saudi Ara­bia and the United Arab Emirates block­aded Qatar, ac­cus­ing its rul­ing Al Thani dy­nasty of sup­port­ing Iran and Is­lamist ter­ror­ism. Trump gave his back­ing. Af­ter the ar­rests of the past week, Trump tweeted sup­port, say­ing those ar­rested had been “milk­ing their coun­try for years”.

One in­sider close to the royal fam­ily said the Na­tional Guard was un­likely to re­act strongly to Miteb’s re­moval. He said there had been no re­sis­tance to the oust­ing of Mo­hammed bin Nayef at the in­te­rior min­istry and the Na­tional Guard would be no dif­fer­ent. Theresa’s May emer­gency Cabi­net reshuf­fle con­tin­ues with the appointment of Penny Mor­daunt as Sec­re­tary of State for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment. The news was greeted with rap­tur­ous ap­plause, with MPs, char­i­ties and NGOs tweet­ing their con­grat­u­la­tions and wel­come. Mor­daunt is well qual­i­fied for the post. Her early ex­pe­ri­ences as aid worker in post-rev­o­lu­tion­ary Ro­ma­nia left an en­dur­ing im­pres­sion on her, which was ar­tic­u­lated dur­ing a de­bate on the UN Con­ven­tion on the Right of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties in Oc­to­ber this year; Mor­daunt is equally con­cerned with the care and qual­ity of life for the el­derly. Mor­daunt served on the Euro­pean Scru­tiny Com­mit­tee for three years (2010-2013), then be­came an en­thu­si­as­tic Brex­i­teer. It is hoped she will be a lev­el­ling in­flu­ence on the re­bel­lious Re­main camp.

Her time at Con­ser­va­tive Cen­tral Of­fice then be­com­ing head of broad­cast­ing un­der Wil­liam Hague and serv­ing as head of for­eign press for Ge­orge W. Bush’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cam­paign in 2000, gave Mor­daunt valu­able in­ter­na­tional po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, be­fore she was elected MP for Portsmouth North, her home­town, in 2010, David Cameron’s era.

In Par­lia­ment, Mor­daunt has been a mem­ber of the De­fence Se­lect Com­mit­tee and Com­mit­tees on Arms Ex­port Con­trols. In au­tumn 2013, she was ap­pointed Par­lia­men­tary Pri­vate Sec­re­tary to the Sec­re­tary of State for De­fence, Rt Hon. Philip Ham­mond MP and she served as Min­is­ter of State for the Armed Forces from May 2015 un­til July 2016. Mor­daunt’s vot­ing record con­sis­tently shows sup­port for mil­i­tary ac­tion against Daesh, strength­en­ing the mil­i­tary covenant, re­plac­ing Tri­dent with a new nu­clear weapons sys­tem and for use of UK Armed Forces in com­bat op­er­a­tions over­seas. Mor­daunt will be well clued up on for­eign pol­icy and over­seas diplo­matic pro­to­cols that dove­tail into the dis­tri­bu­tion of funds for in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment.

The only MP serv­ing as a Royal Navy Re­servist, Mor­dant is a self-con­fessed star-gazer and mem­ber of the Bri­tish As­tro­nom­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion and she loves cats. On Mor­daunt’s par­lia­men­tary biog­ra­phy page, her coun­tries of in­ter­est are listed as the US and In­dia.

Penny Mor­daunt

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