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King Salman is back in the saddle

With the crown prince's international reputation tarnished, King Salman of Saudi Arabia has stepped in and resumed traveling, hoping to regain control of the kingdom's image abroad.
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi stands with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah during the group photo with Arab leaders, ahead of the 30th Arab Summit in Tunis, Tunisia March 31, 2019. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi/Pool - RC17FA0F57C0

After avoiding foreign travels for over a year, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has been very active in the last 60 days, traveling across the Arab world. The toxic shadow over his favorite son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, is undoubtedly a factor in the king’s higher profile. The Saudis are struggling to regain control of their international image.

In his first years on the throne after his 2015 ascension, the king was a typical royal traveler. He made state visits to many countries in the Middle East as well as to the United States, Britain, Japan, China, Indonesia and Russia. He also typically took an extended summer vacation in France or Morocco. His schedule was never hectic, but it was thorough.

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