Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Saudi royal and self-made billionaire investor, said President Barack Obama lacks a “comprehensive and coherent foreign policy” toward the Arab world.
Alwaleed made the comment at “The Year Ahead: 2014,” a two-day conference in Chicago, hosted by Bloomberg LP. Alwaleed added, “Obviously, he’s not succeeding” as President. Citing Obama’s addressing the Arab world with a widely commended speech in Cairo in 2009, Alwaleed commented, “he raised expectations in our region very high.”
Now in 2013, the Prince says that Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies have grown vexed by what they perceive as being Obama’s wavering positions, citing the ousting of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and then an unsteady stance on chemical weapons use in Syria. Alwaleed, the self-described “Warren Buffett of Arabia,” added, “Saudi Arabia was very frustrated with the failure of the United States to deliver for the Arab world.”
Al Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud is a member of the Saudi royal family, as well as the founder, CEO, and 95%-owner of the Kingdom Holding Company. In March 2013, Forbes Magazine listed Alwaleed as the 26th-richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of $20 billion. Alwaleed was recently in the news for his comments on the Twitter IPO – he’d invested $300 million into the company back in December, 2011. Some have said that Alwaleed’s Twitter investment was an act of self-preservation, as the platform had been used to coordinate uprisings in his home region, and some noted the correlation between sudden censorship within the network, soon after getting its huge handshake from the Prince.
Though, Alwaleed did commend Obama for not hastily pushing for an ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after the chemical weapons attacks. “If the regime (in Syria) falls right now, who’s going to take over there?” Alwaleed said, referring to the potential rise of jihadist extremists. Though, while commenting on the White House, “Unless your house is in order here and unless the bickering stops between the Republican side and the president, you can’t have a strong foreign policy,” he said.
The Prince, who is also the largest individual investor in Citigroup Inc., described the U.S. economy as “somewhat down now, but it’s not out.”
Image via Twitter.