World Citizen: Obama Visit Offers Glimpse Into Saudi Arabia’s Future

World Citizen: Obama Visit Offers Glimpse Into Saudi Arabia’s Future

When President Barack Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia last Friday, he briefly opened a window into the closest circles of power in Riyadh. One of the most striking images was that of Saudi King Abdullah breathing with the aid of an oxygen tank during his meeting with Obama.

Although the king appeared animated and energetic, still sporting the jet-black goatee popular among Saudi royals, he looked puffy, and the plastic tubes taking oxygen into his nose betrayed the urgency of a royal succession process that has already gone into overdrive.

It was no coincidence that Thursday, the day before Obama arrived, the House of Saud issued a surprising decree essentially anointing the man who will potentially become the next king of Saudi Arabia, barring a successful power play by any of the scores of princes who were no doubt unhappy with the new dictate.

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