Saudi crown prince meeting stars from Elon Musk, Bill Gates to Oprah

Saudi Arabia‘s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is currently on a multi-week tour across US, meeting with heavy hitters in government, business, and the media.

Starting with President Donald Trump, MbS, as he is known, has since gone on to meet other important politicians in Washington, including influential members of Congress and a number of Trump Cabinet officials.

But the crown prince isn‘t just meeting with politicians. The Independent reported that a leaked copy of his itinerary revealed meetings with journalists, media moguls, academics, and some of the biggest players in the world‘s economy.

Here are some of the biggest names MbS is meeting during his charm offensive:

Donald Trump

Trump has now met with MbS multiple times, both in US and Saudi Arabia. He has emerged as a strong supporter of the young crown prince, as well as his father, King Salman.

The president brought several charts with him when he met with MbS at the White House that showed the type of weapons, vehicles, and equipment being bought by Saudi Arabia. The deals are worth tens of billions of dollars.

Oprah Winfrey

Nader Hashemi, the director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver‘s Josef Kor bel School of International Studies, told The Independent that MbS‘ meeting with Oprah may help create a better PR image for Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi Arabia has always had a public image problem in the West because of the obvious things like women‘s rights and beheadings,” Hashemi said.

“When you meet with Oprah, even if you‘re not going to be interviewed, you‘re seeking the approval of an opinion maker. You‘re going into people‘s homes and reaching deep into American culture.”

Jim Mattis

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was known for being a hawk toward Iran when he served as a general in the Marine Corps. Though he has argued in favor of keeping the Iran deal intact, he is still wary of Saudi Arabia‘s Middle East rival.

MbS also serves as Saudi Arabia‘s Minister of Defense, and has made confronting Iran a top priority for Saudi Arabia. A meeting with his US counterpart is a no-brainer.

Stephen Schwarzman

Stephen Schwarzman is the chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, a global private equity firm. He is ranked 117th on Forbes‘ World‘s Billionaires List, and was the chairman of Trump‘s Strategic and Policy Forum before it was disbanded in August 2017.

Blackstone unveiled a $40 billion infrastructure fund with Saudi Arabia in May 2017 that will “primarily invest in the United States.” Saudi funding will account for half of the fund, at $20 billion.

During this trip, Schwarzman organized an event in New York City where MbS met with 40 US executives.

John Kerry

John Kerry was the Secretary of State under former President Barack Obama. During his time at the State Department, he was involved with talks between the US and Saudi Arabia, mostly about countering Iran and the war against Yemen.

The Crown Prince met with Kerry on Thursday, in a meeting described as “friendly.”

Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger is one of America‘s longest-serving diplomats.

The former secretary of state and national security advisor is known for his role in ending the Vietnam War and his pioneering of the d├ętente policy towards the Soviet Union, as well as helping open relation with the People‘s Republic of China.

Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres is the Secretary General of the United Nations. The UN has repeatedly accused the Kingdom of not doing enough to prevent civilian casualties in the Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is leading an air bombardment campaign against Yemenis who are seeking an independent state. The former president of Yemen was a staunch ally of Riyadh and a public revolution in the Arab country made him fly to Saudi Arabia where the kingdom started a heavy military campaign to change the course of events for itself.

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg is the founder, owner, and CEO of Bloomberg LP, as well as the former mayor of New York.

With a net worth of slightly over $50 billion, Bloomberg is the 7th richest person in the US, and 10th richest in the world.

MbS, Bloomberg, and Joshua Steiner, the head of industry verticals at Bloomberg LP, were recently seen in a Starbucks in New York City.

Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman is a three time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who writes for the New York Times. He is the foreign affairs columnist for the Times, and often writes about the Middle East.

Friedman wrote a glowing profile of MbS for the Times in November 2017, describing the Saudi crown prince as “a young leader who is driving religious and economic reform, who talks the language of high tech, and whose biggest sin may be that he wants to go too fast.”

MbS and Friedman are reportedly supposed to have dinner together at some point during his trip.

Bill Gates

Arguably the most well known businessman in the world, Bill Gates is the founder of Microsoft, one of the drivers of the personal computer revolution, and the second richest person in the world.

Bill Gates met MbS in Riyadh in November 2017 to discuss “aspects of cooperation” and “joint bilateral development programs and projects.”

Ernest Moniz

Ernest Moniz was the former secretary of energy under Obama, and also served in the department during Bill Clinton‘s administration.

He is a nuclear physicist and is currently the CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to prevent attacks and accidents with weapons of mass destruction. Moniz met with MbS at the event Schwarzman organized.

Lloyd Blankfein

Lloyd Blankfein is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Goldman Sachs. He recently posted on his twitter account that he met MbS in New York City.

Goldman Sachs recently announced that it would invest its own money in the kingdom for the first time. Wassim Younan, the CEO of Goldman Sachs Middle East and North Africa, even likened Saudi Arabia to China in terms of its “economic and social transformation.”

Masayoshi Son

Masayoshi Son is a Japanese businessman who serves as the CEO of Softbank, as well as the chairman of Sprint and Arm Holdings.

Softbank announced a $200 billion plan this week to create the worlds largest solar power plant in Saudi Arabia. The plant is expected to generate up to 200 gigawatts of energy by 2030.

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright was the secretary of state under President Bill Clinton, and was the first woman to ever hold the position.

She is known for her role in shaping American policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Yugoslav Wars, as well as the Middle East. She also notably met with former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il when he was in power.

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch is an Australian-born American media mogul, and founder and CEO of News Corporation. He is also the Chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox.

Like Thomas Friedman, Murdoch is expected to have dinner with the crown prince sometime during his trip.

Jeffrey Goldberg

Jeffrey Goldberg is the editor-in-chief of The Atlantic and is known for his reporting on foreign affairs, particularly the Middle East.

Like Friedman and Murdoch, he is expected to have dinner with the crown prince sometime during his visit.

Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook is head of the world‘s largest information technology company, and the world‘s second-largest mobile phone manufacturer.

It was reported last December that Apple, along with other giants like Amazon, were in the process of negotiating with Saudi authorities for licenses that would allow them to set up offices inside the kingdom.

Attracting tech companies is a big part of MbS‘ economic reforms.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the business magnate and CEO of companies like SpaceX, Tesla, and Neuralink.

Much of Musk‘s work is based on creating products and projects that benefit humanity as a whole, such as reusable rockets, electric cars and storage units, and implantable brain-computer interfaces.

Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde is the managing director of the International Monetary Fund. MbS has made transitioning Saudi Arabia‘s economy from being dependent on oil exports a top priority.

The crown prince‘s meeting with Lagarde was focused on the Saudi Economy and its ambitious reforms.

Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel is an American businessman who specializes in venture capital and technology. He is currently president of Clarium Capital, as well as chairman of Palantir, Valar Ventures, and Mithril Capital.

Thiel and many other business leaders from Wall Street and Silicon Valley went to Saudi Arabia in October 2017 for an event that the New York Times reported as “Davos in the Desert,” an event organized by the crown prince.

Alan Garber

Alan Garber is the provost of Harvard University, the university‘s chief academic officer. The crown prince met with him and other high-ranking individuals from America‘s top colleges and universities.

The purpose of the meetings was “to discuss cooperation fields between the Kingdom and the educational institutions,” and to discuss things like “fields of entrepreneurship, systems engineering and development of education methods.”

The content was retrieved from http://www.businessinsider/saudi-arabia-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salman-us-trip-meetings-2018-3, on April 01, 2018.