Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud named as new King
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, the Head of State of Saudi Arabia has died aged 90 years. Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (79) has been named as the new Head of State and he in turn has named Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (69) as his crown prince and heir.
Born in 1935, King Salman is the 25th son of King Abdul Aziz. He was appointed governor of Riyadh Province in 1963 and held the post until 2011 when he was made Minister of Defence. In 2012 he was made Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister. As Governor of Riyadh Province, King Salman is credited with transforming Riyadh from a small town to a sprawling and successful major city attracting investment and tourists. He has a reputation for austerity, hard work and discipline. He is believed to be suffering from dementia.
The consensus amongst Middle East observers is that the smooth transfer of power means that stability will be maintained in the Kingdom and that relations with the West are unlikely to change.