An oldest Saudi prince who held a controversy after criticizing the king and the crown prince, has returned to the…
An oldest Saudi prince who held a controversy after criticizing the king and the crown prince, has returned to the kingdom in a crisis of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said family members.
Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz al-Saud’s return, a brother to King Salman and uncle of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, sped speculation about possible royal family efforts to shore up support for the monarchy after global criticism.
Saudi Arabian authorities did not respond to requests for comments on the reasons for Prince Ahmed’s return after several months in London.
The king has met with a spread of international condemnation over the killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who criticized the powerful crown prince in his consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Khashoggi was upset as soon as he entered the consulate and then thrashed as part of a prevented plan, the prosecutor’s prosecutor said Wednesday and made for the first time details of the murder ban.
The murder has left Prince Mohammed’s image as a reformator seriously desperate, but analysts say their position as the ruler of the country so far seems undamaged by the crisis.
Prince Ahmed, who is said to be in the 70’s, returned to the Kingdom after last month he played down comments as he did while telling protesters to stop chanting against the royalities of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Yemen war.
“What’s the Family to Do with It? Some Individuals Are Responsible … The King and Crown Prince,” he said, according to a widely circulated online video of the London event.
The commentary is seen by many on social media as rare criticisms of a royal family member of the Kingdom’s leadership and its role in Yemen.
However, in a statement, the prince rejected this interpretation as “wrong.”
Prince Ahmed “had been afraid to return,” the New York Times reported citing co-workers of his family , but it was unclear if he had been assured of his security by Saudi rulers before he flew back.
When he landed in Saudi Arabia in the early days of Tuesday morning, “Prince Mohammed was there to welcome him warmly at the airport,” said the newspaper.
Just before the Khashoggi crisis, Prince Mohammed tightened his grip on power by breaking in opposition to the imprisonment of distinguished clergy and activists as well as p rinsar and business affairs.
However, some Saudi Arabian experts despised speculation that Prince Ahmed could be a challenge to the Crown Prince’s authority, commonly known as MBS.
“Ahmad is not a dissident prince … He has been a central figure in the (Saudi royal family) for years,” said Michael Stephens, a Middle East expert at the Royal United Services Institute.
His return “is about the capacity of the royal household, not a plot. Saudi court policy is always full of intrigue, but … Salman has invested too much in MBS to see him fall.”
A banner which shows Saudiarab King Salman (R) and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, hanging over Riyadh on October 22, 2018