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Muhammad bin Salman meets with US President Donald Trump at the White House in 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Saudi Crown Prince Has Fans in Some Quarters

Pakistan has recognized Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman as the world’s most influential figure for 2018, citing his work in supporting Islam and Muslim minorities around the world, and for protecting two of Islam’s three important holy sites. The honor was conferred recently during the fourth “Message of Islam” conference in Islamabad. Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Maliki, accepted a certificate of recognition, saying that “all Muslims are like one body, and we feel their pain and suffering irrespective of regional boundaries.” The Saudi crown prince has been under withering fire from abroad in recent months over the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, a slew of deadly military attacks by a Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the trial of Saudi women’s rights activists.

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