What awaits Saudi Arabia?

Riyadh has lost its peaceful sleep in recent years, the situation around the largest state in the Arabian Peninsula has seriously deteriorated. Yes, and within the country there are problems related to the inheritance of the throne, the activation of dissatisfied groups of the population, in connection with the situation in the Arab world.

The heir to the throne of the Kingdom and Minister of Defense in the last 50 years, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, died. At the same time, the King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz al-Saud, transferred part of his authority to representatives of the monarchical family and is undergoing rehabilitation after the third spinal surgery.

It should be noted that the transfer of power in the country is a very complex process associated with a high degree of risk and court intrigues. In addition, most of the 18 sons of the king are very old people, some have serious health problems, others do not have experience in government.

Currently, the de facto Kingdom is ruled by Naif, after the death of Sultan the second person in the Saudi "table of ranks", the half-brother of King Abdullah and the Minister of the Interior. He also does not differ in youth - he 78 years. Naif is the very first contender for the throne of Saudi Arabia, which causes serious concerns in the liberal-democratic circles of the country, in connection with its conservatism and ties with religious circles. There are fears that Naif becoming the king will curtail the course of reforms that Abdullah began (which he began largely under the pressure of circumstances).

It is also necessary to take into account the fact that the deceased Sultan was a supporter of the closest possible relations with the United States. Abdullah, like Naif, believe that friendship with Washington is good, but the priority of Riyadh should be military-political hegemony in the Middle East region and ideological leadership (based on Wahhabism) in the Islamic world. Thus, Abdullah spoke out against the decision, pushed through by Sultan, to deploy the American military contingent in the kingdom during the operation against Iraq.

After Abdullah became the head of state in 1996, when King Fahd had a massive stroke, the Kingdom’s foreign policy began to become more and more independent. Increasingly between Saudi Arabia and the United States began to arise, if not serious differences, then at least a misunderstanding. Especially in such matters as “international terrorism”, the Saudi atomic program (cooperation in this field with Pakistan), the Kingdom’s relations with the Taliban. This did not cause joy to the Sultan, but Abdullah quite successfully managed to neutralize him, starting the "fight against corruption", and the blow fell on the Ministry of Defense.

Crown Prince Naif shares Abdullah’s foreign policy views. In his opinion, the Kingdom should lead the Islamic world. Naif is a supporter of the creation of the "Islamic Caliphate" led by the Saudi dynasty. It can be based on the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Persian Gulf (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Saudi Arabia. The governments of this Union are planning to create a single currency, and the headquarters of the single central bank will be located in the capital of Saudi Arabia. In 2008, the GCC countries created a common market. The impact of this union can be quite serious - the total oil reserves of the countries - members of this Council total 484 billion barrels, which is more than half of the oil reserves of OPEC member countries (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). Saudi Arabia alone possesses 23% of world oil reserves, being an energy superpower. There is a gradual process of creation of the United Armed Forces (OVS) of the GCC "Peninsula Shield". They were founded back in 1983 year.

With Naif coming to power, the process of creating the “Islamic Caliphate” will be accelerated. The Union can be expanded to include Jordan and Morocco. It is clear that Naif will make every effort to ensure that this union is transformed into a full-fledged religious, political and military bloc. It is necessary to take into account the fact that the countries of the Persian region are conducting a real arms race, purchasing large quantities of weapons in the West and in the USA, including the latest combat aircraft, helicopters, ships, armored vehicles, air defense weapons, etc.

Of course, Riyadh will try to speed up its atomic program, in this matter it has a good ally - Pakistan. The Saudi Islamic Caliphate, which possesses not only huge hydrocarbon reserves, a lot of modern weapons, but also nuclear weaponsmay become a serious opponent for Iran.

For Russia - it will be very unpleasant news. Saudi Arabia was an enemy of the Soviet Union, supporting the Mujahideen. During the Chechen war, Riyadh supported the Chechen separatists. With the emergence of the “Islamic Caliphate” led by the Saudis, the activity of religious missionaries from Saudi Arabia in the republics of post-Soviet Central Asia will increase significantly, they will not forget the Crimea, the North Caucasus, the republics of the Middle Volga region.

In this regard (against Riyadh) we will be able to find an ally in Iran, who himself claims leadership in the Islamic world, I think, and Israel will not be happy about the emergence of such a superpower on its borders. Perhaps it will be possible to find a common language with Ankara. Although now the Turks are allies of Saudi Arabia, creating with them a powerful Sunni bloc. But it is doubtful that Ankara will give up the role of leader among the Sunnis to Riyadh, for no good reason. The political elite of Turkey is seriously committed to the construction of the "Ottoman Empire-2".

What awaits Saudi Arabia?
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