US ‘60 Minutes’ to air interview with Saudi crown prince

Photo showing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman being interviewed by Norah O’Donnell’s from CBS “60 Minutes” show (CBS)
Updated 22 September 2018
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US ‘60 Minutes’ to air interview with Saudi crown prince

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will appear on the CBS “60 Minutes” program, one of the most popular US television shows.

An interview with the crown prince by “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell will be screened on Sunday, March 18, two days before the Saudi leader’s meeting with US President Donald Trump.

The wide-ranging interview is the Saudi prince’s first for American television. The last time a Saudi leader gave an interview to a US network was in 2005.

O’Donnell spent a week in Saudi Arabia, reporting on the Kingdom’s political, economic and social reforms, many introduced by the crown prince. The 32-year-old heir to the throne has initiated sweeping changes for women, including giving them the right to drive.

The crown prince, who is also the Kingdom’s deputy prime minister and its defense minister, was asked by O’Donnell about the country’s role in the civil war in Yemen, Saudi relations with the US, and the Kingdom’s disputes with Iran. The crown prince also discussed his anti-corruption crackdown that resulted in hundreds of prominent Saudis being detained at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh.


A jubilant Saudi Arabia celebrates its past, present … and future

Updated 24 September 2018
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A jubilant Saudi Arabia celebrates its past, present … and future

  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said National Day is an opportunity to recall the achievements of the country’s founder
  • Saudi Arabia’s friends around the world outdid themselves in expressing their wishes to the Kingdom

RIYADH/JEDDAH/DUBAI:  It was a day that captured the heightened spirit of a nation.

In a year of remarkable changes, Saudi National Day on Sunday took on an exuberance like no other celebration before it, with enough fireworks to break a world record, people celebrating together outdoors across the land and landmarks around the world illuminated with the flag. 

In a speech marking the Kingdom’s 88th National Day, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman praised the nation’s growth under King Salman, saying that while Vision 2030 “looks forward to the future,” Saudi Arabia “will remain committed to the principles” of Islam, “the religion of tolerance and moderation.”

The crown prince said National Day is an opportunity to recall the achievements of the country’s founder, King Abdul Aziz, and his sons. “On our National Day, we take pride in our country’s position on an international, Islamic and Arab level.” 

His sentiments were echoed by citizens, who gathered last night in 20 cities to watch more than 900,000 fireworks light up the sky.

Laser light show at a Jeddah stadium Sunday night as part of National Day celebrations. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

“I am so happy with all the changes going on under the visionary leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi women are happy to join the National Day parades, this year behind the wheel,” said Saudi actor and presenter Khairiah Abu Laban.

“We went around the city to see the lighting and the fireworks,” said Saleh Al-Omri, a pharmacist in Riyadh. “Green and white balloons fill either side of Riyadh streets.”

Saudi Arabia’s friends around the world outdid themselves in expressing their wishes to the Kingdom over the weekend, culminating on the day. 

The Burj Khalifa was illuminated with the Saudi flag, while the Nasdaq Tower’s digital billboard in New York’s Times Square was lit up with photos of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the flags of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

In Lebanon, Pigeon Rocks, in Raouché off the coast of Beirut, were lit in the colors of the Saudi flag. 

The UAE’s airlines got in on the game. Emirates operated a special one-off A380 service on Sunday to Riyadh, and crew handed out scarves emblazoned with the countries’ flags.

Not to be outdone, Etihad said it was using the only Saudi A380 pilot in the world, Wesam Sameer Al-Najjar, to fly its Year of Zayed plane to Jeddah with the UAE’s Captain Ahmed Almalood. 

And if all that wasn’t enough, King Salman added an extra day, Monday, to the holiday.

Air show by the Saudi Royal Air Force in Jeddah in celebration of National Day. (SPA)