Manama: Prince Turki Al Faisal said the “unfair” media attacks on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman have made him more popular among Saudis.
“People who think there’s going to be any change in the succession are wrong,” Prince Turki said in an interview with Washington Post, dismissing speculations Saudi Arabia would replace its crown prince.
“The more criticism there is of the crown prince, the more popular he is in the kingdom,” Prince Faisal, a former intelligence chief and ambassador to London and Washington, said. “If you took a poll among Saudis today, you would find that he is more popular than he was two weeks ago. That’s because Saudis feel that their leader is being unfairly attacked in the foreign media. That’s true of the royal family, as well. They feel that this is an attack on Saudi Arabia and the royal family, not just Mohammad Bin Salman.”
Vilification of Saudi Arabia is unjust and unfair, he stressed.
“The people of Saudi Arabia are happy with the leadership because the leadership has produced a vision of the future and is working to implement that vision,” he said. “If they have to revise or tweak or add to that vision, all the better. Vision 2030 is not divine revelation.”
He said that he conveyed condolences from King Salman and Prince Mohammad to one of Khashoggi’s former wives and three of their children in the US.
He said he met Khashoggi in the 1990s when the slain journalist became deputy editor for Arab News.
However, the two men became estranged about four years ago, he said, partly because of differing views on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Prince Turki told the paper he was shocked when he heard about Khashoggi’s death.
“It was shocking. Until the very last minute, I was hoping he didn’t die.”