Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman signs a guest book as he arrives at the U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., June 22, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
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The prince leading Saudi Arabia's drive for economic reform has laid out a three-pronged strategy to avoid a backlash from religious conservatives opposed to his plan, according to remarks reported by Foreign Affairs magazine Saturday. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the 31-year-old overseeing the kingdom's biggest-ever overhaul of state and society, told visiting researchers last month punitive measures would be considered for any preachers who incited or resorted to violence over the plan, one of the researchers wrote.Prince Mohammad has couched his "Vision 2030" reform plan to wean the kingdom's economy off oil in terms referencing Islamic tradition and has kept the focus on the economy, with scant concrete pledges of social change in the highly conservative kingdom.
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