Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz al-Saud dies

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Son of Govinda, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Son of Govinda

    Son of Govinda Regular Member

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    Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz al-Saud dies | World news | The Observer

    Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz al-Saud has died just eight months after becoming heir to 89-year-old King Abdullah.

    State TV said on Saturday that Nayef had died in Geneva, where he had been receiving medical treatment for an unknown illness.

    The 78-year-old, who also headed the interior ministry, was known as a reactionary whose views on issues such as women driving differed from those of the king and his death could mean more rapid reform.

    His death underlines the age of the senior office-holders in the royal family, all of whom are sons of Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud, who founded the desert kingdom in 1932. The king and a family council are now expected to nominate a new crown prince.

    The defence minister, Prince Salman, 76, has long been regarded as the next most senior prince after Nayef. He is seen as a supporter of King Abdullah's cautious reforms, which have established some elections at a municipal level and encouraged mixed education for postgraduates, a radical shift in the fiercely conservative country.

    However, Nayef remained hugely influential and enjoyed a lot of support among the powerful clerical establishment. He oversaw the feared religious police and developed a security apparatus that contributed to the failure of militant Islamic groups such as al-Qaida to capitalise on early successes in Saudi Arabia after the 2001 war in Afghanistan.

    "He supervised the security affairs of the state for more than 30 years. He scored a lot of successes there. Especially in fighting al-Qaida," said Khalid al-Dakhil, a Saudi political analyst.

    But Nayef was criticised for imprisoning human rights activists and political campaigners.

    The Islamic kingdom largely escaped the instability of last year's Arab uprisings despite a repressive political system. Signs of unrest among the Shia Muslim minority were quickly stifled.

    As revolts rocked the kingdom's neighbours, King Abdullah ordered a package of pay rises, subsidies, housing grants and job creation schemes. Nevertheless, social and economic problems remain, including finding jobs for many young people who often lack good quality education.

    Abdullah, who has pushed planners to prepare for a time when the state can no longer rely solely on oil for revenue, enjoys a degree of popularity that few senior Saudi royals can match.
     
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  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Wasn't this Saud gang put in place by the Brits to begin with?
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Not only in Saudi Arabia, but they carved the desert amongst their sycophants, drawing boundaries in an arbitrary manner leading to the holy mess that is Arabia.

    The flip side is that it was a master stroke in geopolitics wherein they remained within the ambit of the British tutelage till very recently when the US took over the responsibility as the British withdrew owing to diminishing economy.
     
  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    There is going to be a procession of burials in the Saudi clan. I mean they are all getting old. They better chose a youngster as king and hopefully a moderate, liberal guy who will lead them to deliverance from their current archaic system. Otherwise there will be severe political instability.
     
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  6. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    There are actually two major groups that were involved in the Arab revolt. The British actually provided full support to the Sharif of Mecca - Hussein bin Ali to revolt against the Ottoman empire and lead the Arabs on the promise that he would be made ruler over the pesent day Arabian peninsula including Iraq, Jordan and Israel/Palestine. Their armies were provided with millions of pounds of military equipment to fight the Ottomans.

    However, his "kingdom" was eventually restricted to only transJordan and Iraq which was ruled by his two sons by the end of WWII

    The Al-Sauds, who were based around the present day Riyadh region had a historical rivalry with another powerful tribe the Al-Rashids who were Ottoman allies as well. This is where the alliance with the British worked to their advantage in defating the Al-Rashid tribe and gaining control over Riyadh. The AL-Sauds had earlier attempted to expand the area under their control twice unsuccessfully . But post WWI after the collapse of the Ottoman empire, they were able to easily take over the Arabian peninsula and also drive out the Sharif of Mecca from the western coast of arabia and consolidate their rule. They played a very minor role in the WWI hostilitiies against the Ottomans themselves and were pretty much neutral during WWII. However, witht he Americans discovering oil their in the late 1930s, we had the begnning of a Saudi-American alliance that we see today.

    The British didn't resist or help the Sharif of Mecca defend themselves against the Al-Sauds even though they had a treaty to do so in the 1920-1930s. Instead they established relations with the Al-Sauds in return for protectorate status and defining their boundaries mainly to protect their colonial posessions on the eastern coast of the peninsula. These are the present day emirates of Kuwait, UAE, Qatar all of whome become indepedant from British rule as recently as in the 1970s. These were important points for Indian merchant trade and infact, the Indian Rupee was legal teder their until quite recently.

    So while Saudi Arabia provided energy security to America, Iran was to do the same for the British. Although, popular movements and democracy in Iran meant that the local population led by their PM Mosaddeg would no longer tolerate the "looting" of their oil wealth. That also resulted in the coup of 1953 in Iran where Mosaddeg was overthrown and the Shah put in his place with the CIA and MI's help. That lasted till 1979 when the persecution of the Shah bursted out into an anti-Us anti-British "Islamic revolution". (1953 Iranian coup d'état - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Ibn Saud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Arab Revolt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Implications for India would mean that Prince Salman the now defence minister will be next in line to be King. He had been assigned with the main task of forging ties with India and was involved in leading delegations to India with the last one in April 2010. Once he became defence minister last year, he moved ahead with the defence co-operation with Anotony invited to KSA in February early this year and may possibly return the visit to finalise some deals later this year to India.

    This should also be a boost to liberal bloc within Saudi Arabia as he is mostly seen to follow in the footsteps of Abdullah unlike Nayef.
     
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  7. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Ejaz, anyone in their 40s in the Saudi clan who is probably western educated and liberal and in line to the throne after the oldies depart? Obviously has to be worthy of the position. What are the chances of the Saudis going for a young king after the incumbent dies?
     
  8. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The line of sucession is already with Prince Salman now being the Crown prince. If King Abdullah dies, he will be king.

    The way the Saudi sucession works now is much more reliable after King Abdullah formed the Allegiance council in 2005. There is a King, Crown Prince and a deputy crown prince and the 31 member allegiance council. If anyone of the three die, the council votes for a replacement. But there is always a line of sucession active.

    Keep an eye out for the new deputy crown prince to see who will be the next in line for sucession if Salman dies

    Some Info on the Allegiance council here
    http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL5E8GTE1N20120617
     
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  9. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18496118Prince Salman has been appointed the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia, becoming the next-in-line to 88-year-old King Abdullah's throne.
     

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