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Saudi crown prince says Houthis ‘must not become another Hezbollah’

Members of the Houthi militia display their weapons during a gathering in Sanaa, Yemen, in this Nov. 24, 2016 file photo. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
RIYADH: The war in Yemen is about preventing Houthi rebels from turning into another Hezbollah on Saudi Arabia’s southern border, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.
“We’re pursuing until we can be sure that nothing will happen there like Hezbollah again, because Yemen is more dangerous than Lebanon,” he told Reuters.
Saudi Arabia made global headlines this week as a conference hosted by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) served as a backdrop to key announcements that have defined a new social and economic course for the country. 
The crown prince said the Kingdom’s dispute with neighboring Qatar has not affected investment, adding: “Qatar is a very, very, very small issue.”
Earlier this week, he pledged to return the Kingdom to a moderate past. Meanwhile, new projects such as the $500 billion Neom zone, announced at the Future Investment Initiative, look to a technology-driven future. 
The futuristic theme continued on the second day of the conference when the audience was stunned by the appearance of a robot and her witty banter on stage.
Sophia became an overnight social media sensation, giving a “Bladerunner”-inspired face to the Kingdom’s decision to invest in artificial intelligence and other technologies.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy picked up on the crown prince’s comments about extremism when he addressed the conference.
Speaking on the final day of the event in Riyadh, Sarkozy praised the crown prince for his fight against extremism.
Sarkozy said extremists are the biggest problem the world faces today, not Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is accused of meddling in US and European elections. 
“The problem in the world is extremism, assassins who kill innocent people. Please could someone explain to me why the problem in the world is Putin?” he added.
More than 4,000 delegates from around the world visited Saudi Arabia for the keenly awaited gathering that some had dubbed “Davos in the Desert.”

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