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CNN: Saudi Arabia's 'reformer' King Abdullah dies


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http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/22/middleeast/saudi-arabia-king-abdullah-dies/index.html

Saudi Arabia's 'reformer' King Abdullah dies

 

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud has died, according to an announcement on Saudi state TV. He was 90.

The next king will be Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, state television reported.

 

The announcement of his death comes several weeks after the state-run Saudi Press Agency said Abdullah was suffering from pneumonia and had been admitted to the hospital.

 

King Abdullah became the oil-rich nation's sixth king in August 2005.

 

In the context of the kingdom's conservative circles, King Abdullah was seen as a reformer and often came up against more hard-line clerics.

 

 

Talking about it on CNN now.

 

 

New king: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salman_of_Saudi_Arabia

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Heard his brother with possible dimentia is assuming temporary control until a new leader is decided amoungts the succession counsel Abdullah created.

Couldn't of happened at worse time considering what's going on in Yemen right now, but there's an interesting article about this guy on the front page of Washington Post right now. Interesting balance between trying to modernize while still appealling to the ultra conservatives in his country.

You can only hope the next guy in charge doesn't go backwards, given Iran is slowly starting to want to seem "normal" as well.

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http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/obama-king-abdullah-saudi-arabia-114522.html?hp=l1_3

Obama hails the late Saudi King Abdullah

 

The White House on Thursday praised the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia, a longtime close ally of the United States — if sometimes a troublesome one.

 

“King Abdullah’s life spanned from before the birth of modern Saudi Arabia through its emergence as a critical force within the global economy and a leader among Arab and Islamic nations,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.

 

“He took bold steps in advancing the Arab Peace Initiative, an endeavor that will outlive him as an enduring contribution to the search for peace in the region. At home, King Abdullah’s vision was dedicated to the education of his people and to greater engagement with the world.”

 

The White House also announced Thursday that Vice President Joe Biden would lead a U.S. delegation to Saudi Arabia to pay respects to the Saudi royal family.

 

Abdullah, who died at age 90 reportedly of pneumonia, collaborated closely with President George W. Bush’s administration on counterterrorism after the 9/11 attacks, which temporarily heightened tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

 

 

https://twitter.com/MahirZeynalov

Jordan declares 40-day mourning; Palestine declares 3-day mourning over the death of the Saudi King.
11:46 PM

 

Egypt's Sisi and Jordan King Abdullah cut short their WEF program to attend King Abdullah funeral.
11:47 PM

 

Joe Biden will lead a presidential delegation to Saudi Arabia to extend condolences to the Saudi nation.
11:49 PM

 

I wonder if Erdogan will be going....

 

 

 

 

McCain:

 B8Ald6yCcAAgvnl.jpg

 

Kerry:

B8AlnCjIEAA6oLA.jpg

 

 

Here's a different view:

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/22/king-abdullah-of-saudi-arabia?CMP=share_btn_tw

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia obituary

 

Monarch whose reign saw the spread of division, corruption and strife, and was saved only by ‘black gold’

 

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who has died aged 90, promised much but accomplished little. By the time he came to the throne in 2005, he was 81 years old. And though he had gained considerable experience as acting monarch after his brother King Fahd’s stroke, he was beset by numerous difficulties – dynastic, democratic, religious, ideological, regional and global – and, with only rising oil revenues in his favour, found himself unable to address them to any significant extent.

 

Abdullah’s succession as Saudi Arabia’s sixth monarch resulted from his father King Abdulaziz ibn Saud’s strategy of marrying the daughters and widows of defeated enemies. It was hoped that Abdullah’s birth in Riyadh would end the enmity between the ousted northern Hail emirate and the newly emerging Saudi kingdom. Abdullah’s mother, Fahda bint Asi al-Shuraim, was the widow of Saud ibn Rashid, who ruled over the emirate before its collapse at the hands of Saudi forces in 1921. Abdullah continued the tradition of his father and included, among his 30 or so wives, daughters of the Shaalan of Aniza, al-Fayz of Bani Sakhr, and al-Jarba of the Shammar tribe.

 

On the basis of his mother’s background, a plethora of images were cultivated around Abdullah. Images of the monarch as the repository of the tribal bedouin heritage flourished as Saudi Arabia drifted into globalisation and a consumer culture. After a traditional upbringing in the royal court and with no formal modern instruction, the king capitalised on this heritage. His maternal connections and limited education, together with a speech impediment, delayed Abdullah’s rise to pre-eminence among the many sons of the founder of the kingdom.

 

It was only in 1962 that he secured a permanent position in the kingdom, when he became commander of the national guard, whose task was to protect the royal house. Abdullah became second deputy prime minister in 1975 and first deputy prime minister in 1982. Crown prince under the rule of Fahd (1982-2005), Abdullah became de facto ruler in 1995, following Fahd’s prolonged illness, and king in August 2005. His main challenge was to rule amid an ageing group of powerful princes, each desperate to occupy the throne. Under Abdullah, Saudi Arabia degenerated into multiple fiefdoms with each senior prince striving to exercise authority at the expense of the others.

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He had inherited a kingdom torn by ideologically opposed groups, beset by unemployment, corruption, insecurity and terrorism, yet basking in a second oil boom. After a period of deceptive calm following the suppression of the 1979 siege of the Mecca mosque by the radical Islamic cell of Juhayman al-Otaibi, a violent Islamist opposition made its presence felt. Through the 1990s, Saudi Arabia paid a high price for the decision to invite foreign troops to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein’s occupation. So it was that in 1995, Abdullah’s national guard in Riyadh came face to face with terrorism, when a key building used by Americans providing military training support was blown up. More attacks followed in the oil-rich eastern province in 1996. This was the beginning of a campaign that erupted into further violence after 11 September 2001.

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If the government would release the blackouted 28 pages from the 9/11 report it will show Saudi Arabian government was involved in 9/11.  Saudis are the ones building madrases all over to spread their brand of Islam.

 

It will not surprise me, if the Saudis were also funding ISIS/ISIL.

 

 

Also, Saudi treat other Muslims that they import to do their work; so it's beneath them to actually work like ****.

 

 

So, I don't mourn the passing of this man.

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http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/king-salman-saudi-arabia-health-114542.html?hp=l2_4

New Saudi king alert and 'engaging,' senator says

 

John Barrasso, one of the six U.S. senators who met Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman bin Abdul Aziz only a week ago, said Friday that the 79-year-old then-crown prince showed no signs of mental abnormality or physical infirmity during a half-hour conversation, in spite of reports suggesting that Salman might suffer from dementia and a lack of ability to concentrate.

 

“I’ve read those reports, and I was looking for those sorts of signs,” Barrasso, a trained medical doctor, told POLITICO in a telephone interview. “I found him very engaging. He used a translator but you really got the sense that he understood English and understood what we said. … Mainly he talked about the friendship with the United States [and] the threat of Iran, especially from nuclear weapons.”

 

Barrasso, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, added that U.S. Ambassador Joseph Westphal, who was with the group, said afterward that “he thought [salman] was the best he’s seen him.” Barrasso conceded that since Salman was speaking in Arabic — which none of the senators or American staffers present understood — it was not possible to determine how well or coherently he was actually speaking. Westphal, who was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia on March 26, 2014, also does not speak Arabic.

 

Despite other reports that Salman might have had a stroke, Barrasso said he saw no sign of any after-effects during the Jan. 17 meeting. “We walked for quite a distance with him. He came into the receiving room. He took us around showed us different pictures on the walls along with weaponry. On the wall, he showed us a big photo blowup of his father, the first Saudi monarch, with FDR. We were in a large area and then walked out into the courtyard, where he greeted other people.“

 

Barrasso was appointed to the Senate in 2007 upon the death of Craig Thomas and later won a full term in 2008. The other senators on the trip to Saudi Arabia were Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the new chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Angus King (I-Maine). In addition to Salman, they met with other Saudi royals.

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http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/obama-adds-last-minute-saudi-arabia-stop-114547.html

Obama cuts shorts India trip, adds Saudi Arabia stop

 

President Barack Obama is skipping tourism for diplomacy, scrapping a planned visit to the Taj Mahal to instead travel to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with the new Saudi king. The Taj Mahal visit was to happen Tuesday, on the final day of the trip to India he left for on Saturday morning.

 

“President Obama and the first lady will travel to Riyadh,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement, “to pay respects to King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the family of the late King Abddullah bin Abdulaziz.”

 

Later Saturday, Obama called King Salman from Air Force One “to personally express his sympathies” following the passing of King Abdullah.

 

King Abdullah’s death was announced Thursday?

 

Vice President Joe Biden had already been scheduled to go to Saudi Arabia, but the White House said that the windows of time for him and Obama being out of the country coincided too closely.

 

Obama will be in India on a three-day visit to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, one of the major civic events in India. He’ll also be the guest at a state dinner with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and deliver a speech that has been pushed up to allow for time to get him to Riyadh.

 

Biden will remain in Washington.

 

“The president regrets that he will be unable to visit Agra during this trip,” Earnest said, referring to the city that is home to the Taj Mahal.

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Heard his brother with possible dimentia is assuming temporary control until a new leader is decided amoungts the succession counsel Abdullah created.

Couldn't of happened at worse time considering what's going on in Yemen right now, but there's an interesting article about this guy on the front page of Washington Post right now. Interesting balance between trying to modernize while still appealling to the ultra conservatives in his country.

You can only hope the next guy in charge doesn't go backwards, given Iran is slowly starting to want to seem "normal" as well.

Indeed. While a lot of the Arab countries have drifted in to revolution and civil war, Saudi Arabia has remained relatively stable.

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