WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump plans to host Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House next week, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Monday.
Salman attracted controversy in November when he orchestrated a purge of dozens of people, including sitting Cabinet members and a fellow prince. The move was seen as an effort to consolidate power. The regime portrayed the sweep as a crackdown on corruption and an effort to attract foreign investment and reduce the country’s historic dependence on oil.
Sanders declined to say whether Trump would raise human rights issues with the heir to the throne.
The 32-year-old prince has a well-known friendship with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a key factor in Trump’s decision to make Saudi Arabia the first country he visited as president last year.
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