King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia redrew the line of succession, placing it in the hands of the younger generation of royals and created two councils that propose broad lines of policy to the king (photo: dpa)

Saudi Arabia tests solo role as King Salman sets up succession

Saudi Arabia needs to make far-reaching domestic and foreign policy changes, and the measures announced in April 2015 by King Salman mark the first steps in that direction. The recent appointment of two crown princes signals a generational shift, and the creation of two Royal Councils for foreign and economic policy point to professionalism and transparency in government. The influence of the Wahhabi clergy has also been further reduced.

The slump in oil prices poses the risk that the needed measures to diversify the economy will be delayed. However, the Saudi leadership is unwilling to limit production, because it fears its market share could suffer and wants its competitors to feel ...

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Dr. Udo Steinbach
Ibn Saud’s successors have only gradually managed to lessen the influence of the clergy and modernise the state administration; the Wahhabis remain particularly powerful in the areas of education and law
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