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Salman of Saudi Arabia

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Title: Salman of Saudi Arabia  
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Subject: Muhammad bin Nayef, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Judiciary of Saudi Arabia, Politics of Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula People's Union
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Salman of Saudi Arabia

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Crown Prince
First Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Defense
Prince Salman (December 2013)
Crown Prince
Deputy Prime Minister
Tenure 18 June 2012 – present
Predecessor Nayef
Monarch Abdullah
Minister of Defence
Tenure 5 November 2011 – present
Predecessor Sultan
Monarch Abdullah
Governor of Riyadh Province
Tenure 25 February 1963 – 5 November 2011
Predecessor Badr bin Saud
Successor Sattam
Full name
Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman bin Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud
House House of Saud
Father King Abdulaziz
Mother Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi
Born (1935-12-31) 31 December 1935
Saudi Arabia
Religion Islam

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, (Arabic: سلمان بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود‎, Salmān bin ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ʾĀl Saʿūd; ; (born 31 December 1935) is the Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia. He is a member of the House of Saud.

Early life and education

Prince Salman was born on 31 December 1935.[1] He is reported to be the 25th son of King Abdulaziz.[1][2] His mother is Hassa Al Sudairi.[3] Therefore, Salman bin Abdulaziz is a member of the Sudairi Seven.[4] He was raised in Murabba Palace.[5]

Salman bin Abdulaziz received his early education in the Princes' School in Riyadh which was established by King Abdulaziz to provide education to his children.[6] He studied religion and modern science.[7]

Early experience

Prince Salman's governmental experience dates back to the 1950s. King Abdulaziz appointed Prince Salman as his representative and the emir or mayor of Riyadh on 17 March 1954, when he was just nineteen years old.[7][1] Later, he was appointed by King Saud as mayor of Riyadh at the rank of minister on 19 April 1955.[1][7] He resigned from his post on 25 December 1960.[6]

Governor of Riyadh

Salman bin Abdulaziz was appointed governor of Riyadh Province on 4 February 1963.[6] His tenure lasted for forty-eight years from 1963 to 2011.[7] As governor, he contributed to the development of Riyadh from a mid-sized town into a major urban metropolis. He attracted tourism, capital projects, and foreign investment inside his country. He favored geopolitical and economic relationships with the West.[8]

He was advised by young well-qualified technocrats recruited from King Saud University during his governorship.[9] In January 2011, he ordered action against Riyadh beggars "who try to take advantage of the generosity of people". All foreign beggars were deported and Saudi beggars were placed in a rehabilitation program by the Ministry of Social Affairs.[10]

Defence Minister

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta with Prince Salman, Pentagon, 11 April 2012

On 5 November 2011, Prince Salman was appointed Minister of Defence, replacing his full brother late Crown Prince Sultan,[11] and late Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz was named as the governor of the Riyadh Province. Prince Salman was also named as a member of the National Security Council (NSC) on the same day.[12]

It is speculated that his appointment as defence minister occurred due to his qualities. First, he has a conciliatory and diplomatic nature. It is well known that he actively deals with internal family problems and mediates disputes between family members. Second, Prince Salman belongs to the middle generation in the royal family; therefore, he could develop close ties with both generations socially and culturally. Last, as a result of his long-term governorship, he developed a network of relationships within Arab and international circles.[13]

Prince Salman visited both the US and the United Kingdom where he met with U.S. President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron in April 2012.[14][15] In June 2012, he met Spanish defence minister Pedro Morenés.[15]

Crown Prince

Styles of
Crown Prince Salman
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness

On 18 June 2012, Prince Salman was appointed the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia shortly after the death of his brother and former Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz.[16][17] Prince Salman was also made deputy prime minister.[18] His nomination as crown prince and deputy prime minister is considered by Reuters to be a signal that King Abdullah's cautious reforms are likely to continue.[18] On the other hand, Saudi reformists stated that Prince Salman takes a more diplomatic approach towards the opposition figures in contrast to other Saudi royals, but he cannot be considered to be a political reformer.[19] They also argued that like King Abdullah, Prince Salman mostly focuses on economic improvement rather than on political change.[19]

The Royal Court announced on 27 August 2012 that Prince Salman was in charge of state affairs since King Abdullah was out of the country due to a personal holiday.[20] Prince Salman launched a Twitter account on 23 February 2013.[21]

Other positions

Prince Salman heads the family council, called The Descendants’ Council (Majlis al Uthra in Arabic), that was established by King Fahd in 2000 to solve family matters, realizing consensus and to reduce publically embarrassing behaviour of some family members.[22][23] He is also the chairman of the following organizations: King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives (KAFRA),[24] King Abdulaziz Museum,[25] the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research and the Prince Fahd bin Salman Charitable Society for the Care of Kidney Patients. In September 2012, Prince Salman was named as the deputy chairman of the military service council.[26] He is a strong advocate for philanthropy in poor Muslim nations such as Somalia, Sudan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.[8] His financial support to Bosnia also contributed to radical Islamists in the region.[27]


Prince Salman is well regarded as intelligent and hard-working. He is a trusted mediator in settling royal conflicts among the extended Al Saud – estimated at 4,000 princes. His administration of Riyadh Province was reportedly corruption-free. He is a prominent figure of the royal council, which allows him to select which princes will be delegated which responsibilities of the Kingdom.[8]

Prince Salman and his family own a media group, including pan-Arab daily Prince Faisal,[28] who was the chairman. The SRMG publishes such daily papers as Arab News, Asharq Al-Awsat and Al Eqtisadiah through its subsidiary Saudi Research and Publishing Company (SRPC).[30]

In a similar vein, Prince Salman is reported to have some strong alliances with significant journalists. He is said to be close to Al Arabiya TV director and Asharq Al-Awsat journalist Abdelrahman Al Rashid and to Othman Al Omeir, who launched and is the owner of the liberal e-newspaper Elaph. Prince Salman is thought to have connections with the Elaph website.[31]


In November 2002, Prince Salman said that his country was not responsible if "some change the work of charity into work of evil".[32] He stated that he had personally taken part in the activities of those organizations.[32] He also added "I know the assistance goes to doing good. But if there are those who change some work of charity into evil activities, then it is not the kingdom's responsibility, nor its people, which helps its Arab and Muslim brothers around the world.”[32]

Prince Salman was close to political conservatism according to a 2007 U.S. diplomatic cable. There he argues against introducing democracy to Saudi Arabia because of regional and tribal divisions.[33]

Personal life

Salman in his youth

Salman bin Abdulaziz married three times.[34] He firstly married Sultana bint Turki Al Sudairi,[35] who died at the age of 71 in late July 2011.[36] She was a daughter of Prince Salman's maternal uncle, Turki bin Ahmad Al Sudairi,[36] who was one of the former governors of [38] His children from this marriage are Prince Fahd, Prince Ahmed, Prince Sultan, Prince Abdulaziz, Prince Faisal and Princess Hussa (born 1974).[38]

His child from his second marriage with Sarah bint Faisal Al Subai'ai is Prince Saud. His children from his third marriage with Fahda bint Falah bin Sultan Al Hithalayn are Prince Mohammed, Prince Turki, Prince Khalid, Prince Nayif, Prince Bandar and Prince Rakan.[39]

His oldest son Fahd bin Salman died of heart failure at the age of 47 in July 2001.[40]
Salman in his 30s
Another son, Ahmad bin Salman, died after a heart attack in July 2002 at the age of 43.[41] His second son, Sultan bin Salman, became the first person of royal blood, the first Arab, and first Muslim to fly in outer space when he flew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-51-G) in June 1985.[42] He is the chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiques (SCTA). Abdulaziz bin Salman, another son, has been the deputy minister of oil since 1995.[43] Faisal bin Salman is the governor of Madinah province. One of his younger sons, Mohammad, is his private advisor at the ministry of defense and at the Crown Prince Court.[44] Turki bin Salman became the chairman of the Saudi Research and Media Group in February 2013, replacing his elder brother Faisal bin Salman.[45]

Prince Salman was the closest brother to the late Crown Prince Sultan, having remained at his side during his constant illness and recovery in New York and Morocco, nearly from 2008 to 2011.[13] Prince Sultan described him as "the prince of loyalty" in a letter sent to him.[46] Prince Salman was also late King Fahd’s most trusted advisor during his reign.[47][48]

His legal counsel was William Jeffress Jr, of US-based Baker Botts LLP in a lawsuit filed by families of victims of 11 September terrorist attacks from 2002 to 2010.[49]


In August 2010, Prince Salman underwent spine surgery in the United States and remained out of the kingdom for recovery.[50] He had one stroke and despite physiotherapy, his left arm does not work as well as his right.[51] After his appointment as Crown Prince various analysts including Simon Henderson argue that he is suffering from dementia.[52] In addition, he is believed to be suffering from Alzheimer's disease.[53]


Prince Salman received Lifetime Achievement Award of Al Turath Charity Foundation in the field of urban heritage in 2013.[5]



  1. ^ a b c d "Profile: New Saudi Defense Minister Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz". Asharq Alawsat. 6 November 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Andelman, David A. (30 May 2012). "Letter From Arabia III: Paranoia, or We’re Surrounded!". World Policy Blog. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Winberg Chai (22 September 2005). Saudi Arabia: A Modern Reader. University Press. p. 193.  
  4. ^ "An Heir to the Kingdom: New Crown Prince Salman". The Diplomat 35: 8–11. July–August 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Crown Prince receives Lifetime Achievement Award in the field of Urban Heritage". National Built Heritage Forum. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "His royal highness Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz". Ministry of Interior. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Ministers with portfolio". Saudi Embassy, Washington DC. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c "Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz". PBS. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Kechichian, Joseph A. Succession in Saudi Arabia. New York: Palgrave, 2001. Print.
  10. ^ Riyadh Police round up 109 in Clampdown on Beggary Arab News 21 January 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2011
  11. ^ "Saudi Arabia names Prince Salman as new defence minister". BBC News. 5 November 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "The Allegiance Council". APS Diplomat News Service. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  13. ^ a b al Baker, Basheer (3 November 2011). "Prince Salman Seeks Balance in Saudi Transitional Period". Al Akhbar. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "Saudi Prince dead, Salman likely successor". Trade Arabia. 16 June 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "Al Saud move with speed to reconfigure top team after Nayef's death". Gulf States Newsletter 36 (926). 21 June 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  16. ^ Patrick, Neil (17 June 2012). "Saudi Arabia: Crown Prince's death raises succession questions". BBC. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  17. ^ Roberts, David (19 June 2012). "Saudi Succession after the Death of Crown Prince Nayef". RUSI Analysis. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  18. ^ a b McDowall, Angus (18 June 2012). "Saudi appoints Prince Salman as crown prince". Reuters. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Allam, Abeer (26 August 2012). "Saudi Arabia: In a restless realm". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "Crown prince in charge as Saudi king leaves on holiday". Reuters (Riyadh). 27 August 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  21. ^ "Saudi Crown Prince Salman launches Twitter account". Al Arabiya. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  22. ^ Kapoor, Talal (2 July 2012). "Nayif's Passing – The Family Regroups". Datarabia. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  23. ^ Taheri, Amir (2012). "Saudi Arabia: Change Begins within the Family". The Journal of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy 34 (3): 138,143.  
  24. ^ M. Taha, Sharif (5 May 2012). "Sharjah ruler among 18 to be honored by Prince Salman". Arab News. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  25. ^ "In-Depth Study of King Faisal's Life Urged". Arab News. 11 May 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  26. ^ "Saudi- Authority to monitor audiovisual media". MEFAFN. Arab News. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  27. ^ Parthasarathy, G. (10 August 2005). "Global terrorism The Pakistan-Saudi Arabia nexus". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  28. ^ a b c "Ideological and Ownership Trends in the Saudi Media". Wikileaks. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  29. ^ "9 Challenges Facing The New Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia". Alifarabia. 30 October 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  30. ^ "Al-Faiz new editor in chief of Arab News". SRPC. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  31. ^ "Saudi succession issues". GSN (Gulf States Newsletter). 16 January 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  32. ^ a b c Brisard, Jean Charles (19 December 2002). "Terrorism financing. Roots and trends of Saudi terrorism financing". the Security Council, United Nations. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  33. ^ Carlstrom, Gregg (16 June 2012). "Nayef's conservative policies to outlive him". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  34. ^ "Prince Salman Named Saudi ‘Crown Prince’". Arab Times (Riyadh). 18 June 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  35. ^ "Princess Sultana". Eugene Register Guard. 19 June 1983. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  36. ^ a b "Sultana, wife of Riyadh Emir, passes away". Saudi Gazette. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  37. ^ "Sultana bint Ahmad bin Muhammad al Sudairi". Datarabia. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  38. ^ a b "Kingdom mourns loss of princess". The Siasat Daily. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  39. ^ "Family Tree of Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud". Datarabia. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  40. ^ "Death of a Generous man". The Telegraph. 25 July 2001. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  41. ^ Bradley, John R. (23 July 2002). "Prince Ahmed's cousin killed on way to funeral". USA Today. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  42. ^ "First Arab astronaut makes a royal tour of space". The Windsor Star (New York). 20 June 1985. pp. B12. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  43. ^ "Saudi oil assistance to Pakistan proceeding slowly". Wikileaks. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  44. ^ "Prince Sultan arrives to Bahrain to attend Bahrain Grand Prix". Bahrain News Agency. 22 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  45. ^ "Prince Turki succeeds Prince Faisal as SRMG chairman". Arab News. 9 February 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  46. ^ "Late crown prince's letter shows his deep love toward Salman". Arab News. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  47. ^ Wihbey, Paul Michael (1997). "Succession in Saudi Arabia: The not so silent struggle". IASPS Research Papers in Strategy (4). Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  48. ^ Viorst, Milton (January–February 1996). "The storm and the citadel". Foreign Affairs 75 (1): 93–107.  
  49. ^ "Representative Engagements". Baker Botts L.L.P. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  50. ^ "Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz undergone successful surgery, Royal Court statement says". Gulf in the Media. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  51. ^ Henderson, Simon (10 April 2012). "The Man Who Would Be King". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  52. ^ Henderson, Simon (10 January 2013). "To Stop Iran, Get a New Saudi King". The Atlantic. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  53. ^ Next after next… The Economist (Cairo). 5 April 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  54. ^ Al Sudayri Family Gale Encyclopedia of the Mideast & N. Africa. Retrieved 3 September 2014.

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
Political offices
Preceded by
Badr bin Saud bin Abdulaziz
Governor of Riyadh Province
Succeeded by
Sattam bin Abdulaziz
Preceded by
Sultan bin Abdulaziz
Minister of Defence
5 November 2011 ––present
Preceded by
Nayef bin Abdulaziz
Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia
18 June 2012 ––present
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