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The Crown Prince’s Vision For A ‘New Europe’

Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 29

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s vision for Saudi Arabia is no longer confined to the domestic sphere. At the recent investment conference held in Riyadh, the crown prince spoke about Saudi investments in other Arab states, in an effort to innovate and grow their economies together. Bin Salman’s visit to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, and a wide host of other countries will help open these doors and pave the path towards a fruitful process of Arab cooperation. As one of the strongest economies in the world, Saudi Arabia is able to improve the living conditions of millions of people through economic support and cooperation. The crown prince presented this vision and suggested that the Middle East should become “the new Europe”: a model for regional integration and cooperation that would benefit the countries of the region. Arab states have gone through many difficult centuries, dominated by failed religious ideas, repeated military coups, and fundamentalist regime models. These unfortunate historical milestones led to the current crises we are witnessing in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The crown prince’s vision is therefore the only way to move away from the region’s woes. Economic development brings about intellectual development. An improvement in the living conditions of the average Arab citizen will spur improvement in education, promote freedom of thought, and inspire modernization of society. Arab citizens have also experienced the horrors of terrorism, and Bin Salman’s vision can finally help them nip terrorism in the bud. Arab leaders will have to choose whether to adopt the crown prince’s vision and become thriving nations, or turn their backs on Saudi Arabia and maintain societies that remind us of the dark ages. This is a choice between development and destruction; between becoming a Europe, or succumbing to evil forces like Hezbollah, Hamas and Boko Haram. –Fahed Suleiman al-Shakiran