The appointment of Muhammad bin Salman as the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia has surprised the world. The decision to escalate him to such a position came in times when the country is facing many challenges. King Salman has replaced Muhammad bin Nayef, who was serving as the interior minister, as the crown prince.

There are members of the royal family who are not happy with the decision and it can bring the fissures within the royal family to the surface. But the flipside of the story is that the young population is welcoming the appointment of Muhammad as the right move. They see him as a moderniser as he had loosened certain social restrictions on the youth.

He has already made reforms in fields that are under his control. He is looking into the matter of oil market himself. He’s considered as a bold reformer. Vision 2030, a set of radical reforms, is a testimony to this. However, internally he will be facing the crisis of unemployment, deteriorating economy and law and order situation.

However, it is not only that domestic issues need his attention but also the worsening ties with countries in the region. Experts on the Middle East hold him responsible for waging a war against the poorest Arab country, Yemen. They opine that while suppressing the Houthis, Saudi Arabia has been violating international humanitarian law as the victims are often the times civilians. Passing harsh statements against Iran and lobbying with the crown prince of UAE against Qatar to declare it a terrorist state, he has emerged as the architect of Saudi’s aggressive foreign policy in the region. Iran is not happy with his appointment as crown prince and has called it a ‘soft coup’.

Interestingly, he has charmed the leaders of global powers including Russia, China and the United States. Especially, he has close relations with the son in law of the US President. He’ll use it as a leverage to turn things to his side, but is that the right side?