One Month On, Gauging Saudi Arabia’s New King

One Month On, Gauging Saudi Arabia’s New King
Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz at King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015 (AP photo by Carolyn Kaster).

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—One month has passed since King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud ascended to the throne to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, taking the reins of a country that is a pivotal player in the Middle East, the Muslim world, international energy markets and the global economy. He took power at a moment of turbulence and potentially lasting, dramatic change. Understanding precisely how he will steer his country is a matter of great interest here in the Arabian Peninsula and around the globe.

From the moment he became Saudi Arabia’s reigning monarch, Salman announced his guiding principle would be one of continuity—pursuing the policies of his predecessor, the late King Abdullah.

And yet, it became almost immediately apparent that he was not about to keep the kingdom on autopilot. Change is already visible.

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