Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in charge of Saudi Arabia's reforms, left yesterday for Washington to meet President Donald Trump on a visit expected to promote the world's top oil exporter as an investment destination. No details were given on when he will meet Trump.
It will be the first meeting since Trump took office in January between the U.S. President and the powerful prince leading the kingdom's efforts to revive state finances by diversifying away from falling crude oil revenues.
Under the plan, which seeks to promote the private sector and make state-owned companies more efficient, Riyadh plans to sell up to 5 percent of state oil giant Saudi Aramco in what is expected to be the world's biggest initial public offering. The trip takes place less than a year after the prince, son of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the second in line to the throne, visited Silicon Valley to sell his vision of market-oriented reforms and a transformation of the kingdom's society.
King Salman is currently in Japan on a month-long Asia tour to build ties with the world's fastest growing importers of Saudi crude and promote investment opportunities, including the sale of a stake in its giant state firm Saudi Aramco.
Trump spoke by telephone with Salman soon after he took office in January and agreed to support safe zones in Syria, according to a White House statement. Saudi relations with Washington cooled under President Barack Obama after his administration secured a nuclear deal with regional rival Iran. Obama also openly criticized Gulf Arab countries.
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