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STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT-Dissident Saudi Prince Khalid bin Farhan Al-Saud has demanded King Salman bin Abdulaziz to abdicate the throne in favour of his brother Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz after the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi; an incident that has provoked international outrage.
Prince Khalid bin Farhan, who lives currently in Germany, said: “King Salman’s royal line should not be imposed as a fourth kingship. Your brothers were kings, and you also became one. It is not Saudi Arabia’s absolute fate that one of your grandchildren becomes the ruler, and then the rest of your offspring monopolises the thrown afterwards. Among the Saudi Royalty, there are highly cultivated, and humane princes with a good educational level and they are popular outside and even inside the ruling family.”
During an interview with the German DW TV, The Saudi prince also stated: “Your brother Ahmed bin Abdulaziz is highly ethical, and you are aware of this, not only you but the whole royal family and the Saudi people realise it. So, the wise thing to do, if you have any wisdom left, is to abdicate the throne in his favour and save what remained of your dignity.”
Prince bin Farhan described King Salman as a “rather tyrant ruler who uses violence because he lacks political experience. But, unfortunately, he is the ruler. When he became king, he applied a similar method to the one he used to follow when he was the governor of Riyadh Province.”
Who is Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz?
Prince Ahmed is the thirty-first son of the founding king of Saudi Arabia. He is the youngest son of King Abdulaziz from with his wife, Hussa bint Ahmed al-Sudairi, one of the so-called the Sudairi Seven.
Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz served as deputy minister of interior of Saudi Arabia from 1975 to 2012, and he is one of the powerful sons of the founding king. He is referred to as the most distinguishable candidate to succeed King Salman, which means that he poses the greatest threat to Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitions.
Ahmed bin Abdulaziz succeeded to leave Saudi Arabia to the United States in November, hours before the start of the so-called Ritz crisis, during which about 11 Saudi princes were arrested, notably al-Waleed bin Talal, along with dozens of ministers and businesspeople.
In an excerpt from a video, the Saudi prince was addressing the angry demonstrators, who shouted slogans against the policies of the ruling family in the Saudi Kingdom, saying that the House of Saud had nothing to do with the current policy in the kingdom, and that only king Salman and his Crown Prince are to blame.
Concerning Khashoggi’s case, Prince Khalid bin Farhan stated that “well-known oppositionists are punished by the king’s direct orders. Had Khashoggi been killed, the killers would have received a direct authorisation from the head of state.” However, bin Farhan added that “King Salman of Saudi Arabia is only a facade now. The order must have been executed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”
Prince bin Farhan considered US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo‘s visit to Riyadh and his meeting with bin Salman to be “an attempt to keep the Crown Prince in his position, as the latter is of paramount importance to Donald Trump’s administration for several reasons, including financial and military matters. The main point is the Deal of the Century.” The dissident prince described Mohammed bin Salman as “an opportunity for the current US administration because he can be easily controlled and manipulated.”
Prince Ben Farhan predicted that public opinion would be misled towards a scapegoat regarding Khashoggi’s case, explaining that “it will be promoted that someone within the Saudi intelligence took the decision to assassinate the Saudi journalist, and they will potentially blame the Saudi consul and the 15 Saudis who arrived in Istanbul and carried out the assassination. In this way, they will divert the direct accusations away from Mohammed bin Salman and the king.”
Saudi Arabia is facing a stormy crisis with the international community, which is the most hostile since the September 11 attacks. The situation had exploded when the journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.
Turkish sources have revealed that Khashoggi’s assassination took place in the office of the Saudi consul general Mohammed Al-Otaibi and his presence. The murder was allegedly conducted within minutes of Khashoggi’s entrance to the consulate building.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) possesses evidence that confirms the involvement of bin Salman in Khashoggi’s death, reported The New York Times.