Few civilization outside Saudi Arabia had heard of Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud prior to his father ended up being king in 2015. Yet now, the 35-year-old crown prince is taken into consideration the de facto ruler of the world's leading oil exporter.

He has won plaudits from Western leaders for several of the revolutionary he has overseen in the conservative Gulf kingdom, consisting of lifting the half on females driving and seeking to diversify the economy.

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But he has also been greatly criticised for pursuing a war in adjoining Yemen that has caused a humanitarian catastrophe; starting a diplomatic problem with Qatar that has separated the Gulf Co-operation the supervisory board (GCC); and also cracking under on dissenting voices.

There were even calls because that him to be replaced as crown prince after ~ the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent movie critic of the government, was eliminated by Saudi agents at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. That denied any involvement, however the murder bad damaged his international reputation.

Image source, AFP

Mohammed bin Salman to be born on 31 respectable 1985, the eldest child of then-Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud's 3rd wife, Fahdah bint Falah bin Sultan.

He worked for several state bodies prior to being appointed one-of-a-kind adviser to his father, that was serving as governor of Riyadh, in 2009.

Mohammed bin Salman's climb to power started in 2013, when he was called head of the Crown Prince's Court, v the location of minister. His father had actually been appointed crown prince the ahead year.

In January 2015, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz died and Salman acceded to the throne, appointing his son as minister the defence.

One the Mohammed bin Salman's first acts in the write-up was to launch a military project in Yemen in march 2015 in addition to other Arab states.

They intervened ~ the Houthi rebel movement, which they experienced as one Iranian proxy, seized manage of the resources Sanaa and forced president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee abroad.

The project has made limited progress end the past five years. The fighting has likewise reportedly left much more than 110,000 human being dead; checked out Saudi Arabia and its allies being accused of feasible war crimes; and triggered the world's worst humanitarian disaster, with millions top top the brink the famine.

Image source, EPA
Image caption, A majority of the civilian deaths in Yemen's war have actually been the an outcome of Saudi-led waiting strikes

Mohammed bin Salman's power enhanced with his meeting in April 2015 together deputy crown prince, 2nd deputy prime minister and also president of the board of directors of economic and breakthrough Affairs.

Now in fee of the war in Yemen and Saudi Arabia's economy, his importance as a policymaker ended up being clear the following year once he unveiled an ambitious and also wide-ranging setup to carry economic and also social readjust to the kingdom and also end its "addiction" come oil.

The plan, dubbed Vision 2030, envisages raising non-oil revenue to 600bn riyals ($160bn; £124bn) through 2020 and also 1trn riyals by 2030, up from 163.5bn riyals in 2015.

Image source, AFP

The plan likewise involved changing the education curriculum, boosting the joining of ladies in the country's male-dominated workforce, and also investing in the entertainment sector to assist create jobs for young people.

The prince was likewise seen as having spearheaded a boycott of other Gulf cooperation Council (GCC) member Qatar in 2017 end its alleged support for terrorism and also meddling in its neighbours' work - fees Qatar denies.

Media caption, Mohammed bin Nayef (R) pledged allegiance come Mohammed bin Salman (L), who knelt and also kissed his older cousin's hand

Mohammed bin Salman's climb continued as soon as in June that year King Salman replaced the crown prince - his nephew, Mohammed bin Nayef - through his son.

The new crown prince subsequently sought to consolidate his power, launching a crackdown versus perceived opponents.

More than 20 significant clerics and intellectuals to be detained as the authorities targeted a group allegedly exhilaration on behalf of "foreign parties against the protection of the kingdom".

Media caption, Saudi women's steering activist Manal al-Sharif 'cried' once ban's finish was announced

When King Salman announced (despite objections from conservatives) that a bar on women drivers would finish in June 2018 in Saudi Arabia - the last country in the people where together a prohibition exist - Mohammed bin Salman was offered much that the credit.

This was complied with by the crown prince's declaration the the return of "moderate Islam" was key to his plans to modernise the kingdom, and his launch of a scan anti-corruption drive.

Ostensibly aimed in ~ recovering a luck in ill-gotten gains, many experts said the purge of an effective princes and business figures removed the last obstacles to Mohammed bin Salman gaining total control the the kingdom.

Image source, Reuters

The fixed arrests but unsettled the international investors he to be counting top top to help modernise Saudi Arabia's economy, and brand-new foreign direct investment hurry to a 14-year short in 2017.

Women's rights activists were likewise rounded up shortly prior to the ban on women driving was lifted.

Several to be accused of serious crimes, including "suspicious contact with foreign parties" - a authorize of the Saudi leadership's intolerance of criticism in spite of the illustration of social reforms.

Image source, AFP

Mohammed bin Salman defended the detention that the activists, speak they had "misused" their appropriate to complimentary speech.

"Here we room trying to get rid of extremism and also terrorism without polite war, without avoiding the nation from growing," he said. "So if over there is a tiny price in the area, it's far better than payment a big debt to perform that move."

But it to be the killing in October 2018 the Washington post journalist Jamal Khashoggi which was to tarnish Mohammed bin Salman's photo abroad the most.

UN special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard stated Khashoggi to be "brutally slain" within the Saudi consulate in Istanbul through a team of Saudi agents, that dismembered his body and then disposed of it.

She concluded that Khashoggi to be "the victim the a deliberate, premeditated execution" for which the Saudi state to be responsible. She likewise said there to be credible evidence that high-level Saudi officials, including Mohammed bin Salman, to be individually liable.

However, the Saudi government insisted the journalist's fatality was the an outcome of a "rogue operation" and also that the crown prince to be not associated in any kind of way.

Mohammed bin Salman refuse he had ordered the murder, yet said he take it "full responsibility... Especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government".

Saudi prosecutors put 11 unnamed people on trial end the killing (five were uncovered guilty and also sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment; three others received jail terms).

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Ms Callamard referred to as the Saudi attempt a "parody the justice" and said the crown prince "remained well protected against any sort of coherent scrutiny".