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Mohammed bin Salman's awful year

King Salman will pay a price for standing by his son as 2018 has become the year it all went bad for the crown prince and Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman waits for the family photo during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares/Pool     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC149554C0C0

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has had a tumultuous 2018. He has gone from being hailed a revolutionary who would bring a Saudi Arab Spring to being censured unanimously by the US Senate for the premeditated murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The 33-year-old crown prince is now increasingly regarded as a dangerous and reckless despot implicated in war crimes and mass starvation. The Congress and media are likely to be more hostile in 2019. It has been a stunning fall from grace.

The crown prince began the year with highly touted visits to the United Kingdom and the United States. Empowered by an expensive lobbying campaign and public relations machine, the visits attracted enormous attention. In England he was received by Queen Elizabeth II and the prime minister. The UK provides about one-third of the Royal Saudi Air Force’s inventory of aircraft and there was talk of a big new arms deal.

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