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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Exclusive: Saudi Crown Prince to visit Washington on March 19

Visit will be his second to Washington since Mr Trump assumed office, but his first since assuming his own position last June

US president Donald Trump and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman walk into the State Dining Room of the White House in March 2017. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
US president Donald Trump and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman walk into the State Dining Room of the White House in March 2017. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will arrive in Washington on March 19 on an official visit that will include a meeting with US President Donald Trump, The National has learned.

The visit is Prince Mohammed’s second to Washington since Mr Trump assumed office, but his first since being appointed in the position in June of last year. The Saudi leader is expected to arrive in Washington on March 19 and hold meetings at the White House and with key administration officials until March 22.

After Washington, he will head to major US cities to discuss economic co-operation, investments and his Vision 2030 with major American stakeholders. Those cities will include New York, Boston, San Francisco and Seattle. He visited Silicon Valley in 2016, where he met social media barons and major investors to pitch his economic transformation plan for Saudi Arabia.

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Two years later and now a crown prince, the Saudi leader has started the implementation phase of his plan, with ambitious goals. These include building a mega city, NEOM, with an estimated cost of of $500 billion (Dh1.8 trillion). The visit will continue until early April, when the crown prince will return to Riyadh.

Separately, the US administration is working on convening Gulf leaders at Camp David later in the spring. The effort in its planning and format is a follow-up to the Riyadh summit in 2017, and is to promote mutual goals such as counter-extremism. But Washington is also hoping to bring an end to the Qatar dispute that broke out in June of last year.

The National has also learned that a US delegation, including former general Anthony Zinni and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Gulf Affairs, Tim Lenderking, will be visiting the region next week in renewed efforts to resolve the Qatar crisis.