Defence industry channels in disarray
In a massive purge on November 4, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman managed to achieve what no other Saudi Arabian leader has done - sidelining people in defence circles who were not under his control. [...]
The deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia is the youngest defence minister in the world in a country where old age is the norm at the top. Surrounded by a younger guard, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud has launched a number of reforms since his father, King Salman bin Abdulaziz came to power, articulated around the Vision 2030 programme. His influence on the regime’s apparatus is growing, which has caused a certain amount of jealousy on the part of his rivals, most notably the crown prince and interior minister Mohammed Bin Nayef.
Many in Riyadh consider that the purge that Mohammed bin Salman conducted on November 4 was just a pretext. To ensure the process continues according to his wishes the crown prince can count on his new tailor-made administration. [...]
French businessman Jonathan Gray, who is close to Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman, is carving a role for himself as the new go-between in Franco-Saudi business deals at a time when the Crown Prince's Vision 2030 programme is whetting a lot of appetites. [...]