CEDA Donald Trump Kingdom Saudi Arabia White House

Muhammad leaves for US, to meet Trump

Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, receives Citigroup’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat in Riyadh on Sunday before his visit to the US. They discussed investment and cooperation opportunities in the Kingdom in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. — SPA
Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, receives Citigroup’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat in Riyadh on Sunday before his visit to the US. They discussed investment and cooperation opportunities in the Kingdom in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. — SPA

RIYADH — Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, will meet President Donald Trump at the White House in the highest-level visit to Washington by a Saudi leader since November’s presidential election.

A Royal Court statement said that Prince Muhammad left on Monday for Washington.

It will be the first meeting between Prince Muhammad and the US President since Trump took office in January.

The Royal Court statement said that in his talks with Trump and other US officials, Prince Muhammad, who also heads the Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA), was expected to “discuss reinforcing bilateral relations and review regional issues of mutual interest”.

It said that the working visit would start on Thursday.

John Sfakianakis, director of economic research a the Gulf Research Center, told a news agency that the focus of the visit would be “to showcase Saudi investment opportunities… the Saudi Aramco IPO as well as the reforms undertaken in the wider economic space.”

The trip takes place less than a year after the deputy crown prince visited Silicon Valley.

Before his departure for the United States, Prince Muhammad met Citigroup’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat in Riyadh on Sunday to discuss investment opportunities in the Kingdom and globally, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Trump spoke by telephone with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman soon after he took office in January.

The King invited Trump “to lead a Middle East effort to defeat terrorism and to help build a new future, economically and socially,” for Saudi Arabia and the region.

Washington and Riyadh have a decades-old relationship.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir has expressed optimism that the Trump presidency will be more engaged in the region, particularly in containing Iran.