New King crowned, but will he be able to face the challenges?

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A half-brother of the late king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and son of Saudi founder Ibn Saud. Salman is in his 70s. Salman is a member of the so-called "Sudairi Seven," after their mother, whose powerful al-Sudairi clan hails from the Nejd region of Saudi Arabia.

That ways, many will expect the king to do the best that he can for the nation. Add to it, the king's experience as the Governor of Riyadh. It goes without saying that his maternal clan may also help in governance.


However, there are greater challenges that the 70-year old has to face.


It is a popular belief that the new king suffers from Dementia. It is, therefore, debatable as to how long can he continue in his seat and who would be his successor.

Nevertheless, it is a popular belief that the new crown prince is Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is 69 years old, might be the next.

Both Salman and Muqrin are younger brothers of Abdullah.

Varying ideologies

Salman has the magnificent task of integrating the youth of the society, who comprise 64% of the 19.4 million citizen. These youths are not only skeptical of the regime's theocratic legal system, but also demand more jobs.

Till now, the loaylties of the youth were bought by the immense wealth of the kingdom. But that may not linger long.

The global setting

There are other severe challenges in the global scene too. For instance, Saudi Arabia, is one of the world's three-largest oil producers, but is now dealing with record-low oil prices. '

It is yet to get prominence in this sector and has to fight with Iran - and other Gulf states such as Qatar - in Syria, where Saudi Arabia has supported the rebellion against leader Bashar al-Assad.

It also has to deal with Iran's nuclear program, and strongly depends on American effort of negotiating with the Iranian government.

The Houthi rebels and the IS

His Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have sent the Kingdom into chaos. They have apparently forced the Yemeni president to resign, hitting itin the underbelly.

The instability, as a result of this, has been viewed as a threat, which has led to Saudi military interventions in Yemen on multiple occasions, most recently in 2009 against the very same Houthis that now dominate Sana'a.

The Islamic State and Iran can now plan their next step strategically. Yemen plays a role in both Shia Twelver and Sunni Jihadist ideology, and Saud's death and chaos in Yemen will no doubt be a highly motivating factor for both.

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