According to a Bloomberg report, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was reportedly “all smiles” during the opening day of his second annual Future Investment Initiative…
The crown prince made his unexpected appearance toward the end of the day, drawing a crowd as people craned to catch a glimpse or take a photo. He sat next to King Abdullah of Jordan and they left together soon after, followed by onlookers and without the prince commenting publicly.
Prince Mohammed is due to speak on Wednesday, organizers later announced. It was not clear if he would respond to Erdogan’s accusations, which came closer than ever to laying the blame for Khashoggi’s death at the ambitious young leader’s feet.
Zerohedge further reports that as lawmakers from the US, to Germany and Canada have weighed some form of economic punishment against Saudi Arabia – be it sanctions, an arms sale prohibition, or both – over the state’s involvement in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Crown Prince MbS is “all smiles”, as Saudi Arabia signed $50 billion in deals at his “Davos in the desert” event.
And why wouldn’t he be? Just over three weeks after Khashoggi’s killing and purported dismemberment, calls for the Crown Prince’s ouster have already subsided. Any hope that the royal family would act to oust him as the kingdom’s de facto ruler disappeared when his father, King Salman, announced that MbS would be charged with leading a commission to oversee the restructuring of the Saudi intelligence service. And even as CEOs from Wall Street, Silicon Valley and global industrial giants decided to skip MbS’s “Davos in the Desert”, their top dealmakers, tucked away from the public glare, were there to represent in their stead and keep the money flowing. Adding to the irony, MbS received a standing ovation from a crowd of 3,000 dignitaries and investors, including hundreds of Saudi citizens.
MBS just got a standing ovation from investors today, per the NYT.
It’s not even a month.
— Farallon Eggwar (@eggwar) October 23, 2018
At least the irony that MbS’s grandiose display of Saudi power and influence was being held in the same hotel – the Riyadh Ritz Carlton – where he had detained dozens of Saudi businessmen and royal family members in what was widely seen as a blatant shakedown late last year (detainees were beaten, tortured and forced to surrender assets to the Saudi crown that reportedly totaled some $100 billion) was not lost on the international press.
— Alexandra Allio De Corato (@Allio_De_Corato) October 23, 2018
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman’s “Davos in the desert” investment forum, which once again shows that no matter how brutal the Saudi regime may be, money talks, and Saudi Arabia has plenty of money.
In the end MbS will buy his way out of this latest crime, and globalists (with there media shills) will soon be saying, ‘Khashoggi who? Show me the money young Prince.’
And while several Saudi officials, including the country’s oil minister and a powerful female tycoon, decried the murder as “unjustifiable” and “alien to our culture”, their criticisms included no reference to what or who might have been responsible, according to Reuters.
Indeed, while high-profile withdrawals from Softbank’s Masayoshi Son and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hurt the conference’s image, the show went on – and while day one was somewhat more subdued than last year – there were no grandiose revelations about the kingdom’s plans to build a high-tech supercity in the desert, or announcements about a future public offering of Saudi Aramco shares (since put on hold). And there were no Andrew Ross Sorkins, and no talking robots.
But there were deals. $50 billion worth, according to the latest “official” figure offered by the Saudis.
It’s this river of capital that, more than anything else, should insulate MbS from any substantial blowback over the Khashoggi affair, just as it did when he imprisoned rival members of the royal family and women’s rights activists, or when he effectively kidnapped the prime minister of Lebanon, or as Saudi Arabia continues to wage a war of aggression against innocent civilians in Yemen, much to the international community’s bizarre silence.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.