Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




ENERGY TECH
Saudi king's health spurs succession issue
by Staff Writers
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (UPI) Nov 28, 2012


The Saudi royal family has denied reports King Abdallah, 89, has been placed on life support following spinal surgery but the monarch's failing health has brought the thorny issue of who will succeed him into sharp focus.

Abdallah's demise would probably mark the end of nearly 60 years of rule by the sons of King Abdulaziz, the tribal warrior who founded the modern kingdom in 1932, and the accession of his grandsons to the throne.

That raises questions about the future of the kingdom in a profoundly changing world and a possible realignment of its strategic policies, which many believe is under way as U.S. power in the Middle East is on the wane.

The U.S. focus on its abundant shale oil reserves will eventually make it self-sufficient in energy production, ending its dependence on cheap gulf oil since World War II, much of it from Saudi Arabia.

That will dramatically alter Washington's strategic outlook, which is already shifting from the Middle East to the Pacific and China's economic and military challenge.

At the same time, the monarchy is struggling to contain the 22-month-old surge for democratic reforms across the Arab world that has toppled presidents in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya and could bring down a fifth in Syria.

No Arab monarchy has yet succumbed but worsening tensions between them and Iran has magnified the crises that grip them.

Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam, leads these Sunni-dominated states against Iran, which is ruled by the breakaway Shiite sect, in a deepening rivalry that harks back to a religious schism that split Islam in the seventh century.

Against this menacing backdrop, reports that Abdallah was at death's door caused tremors across the region.

The London-based pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported that King Abdallah, who ascended the throne in 2005, was in a coma and considered clinically dead a week after his Nov. 18 surgery at the King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh.

The state-of-the-art hospital is controlled by the Saudi Arabian National Guard, a powerful mechanized tribal force independent of the military and whose mission is the protection of the royal family.

The 100,000-strong Guard is commanded by one of Abdallah's sons.

Asharq al-Awsat quoted hospital officials as saying Abdallah's heart, lungs and kidneys weren't functioning and that doctors had used "electric shocks to stimulate his cardiac muscles."

But the royal court insists the 11-hour operation, reportedly to tighten a ligament in his back, was completely successful.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported that Crown Prince Salman, who would become monarch if Abdallah dies, "reassured" a Cabinet meeting Monday by saying the monarch was "well and in good health."

Salman is Abdallah's brother and 13 years his junior. Abdallah appointed him in June after the death of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz.

But Salman has also been reported to have health problems. Simon Henderson, an expert of gulf politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says Salman "is widely reported to be in a poor mental state."

If that's the case, his accession if Abdallah dies must be questionable.

Abdallah's health has been declining for several years and he's been hospitalized several times.

A succession of Abdulaziz's sons has ruled since his death in 1953. But now the surviving sons are all in their dotage and the big question is when will the old king's grandsons finally take over.

"The odds are now high that Salman's successor will come from the third generation of princes," the U.S. global security consultancy Stratfor observed.

"There are only a few second-generation princes alive who have the qualifications to become crown prince" under Salman, it noted.

Kings traditionally have been chosen by the royal family, which has several rival factions. But Abdallah decreed a succession law in 2006 that's supposed to elect the king and crown prince.

"The problem is that this system assumes a basic democratic tradition among the royal family; such a tradition has never existed and there is no reason to assume that one will exist in the near future," Stratfor cautioned.

"As a result there will be an added potential for rifts among the various House of Said clans and with them the risk of instability in the world's biggest oil producer."

.


Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ENERGY TECH
Ecuador opens bidding for Amazon oil exploration rights
Quito (AFP) Nov 28, 2012
Ecuador opens bidding by private and state companies Wednesday for rights to explore for oil in 16 blocks in the Amazon amid protests from indigenous communities. Indian protesters clashed with police outside a Quito hotel where government officials were explaining the process to potential bidders. No injuries were reported, but witnesses said riot police were struck with spears as prote ... read more


ENERGY TECH
China's Chang'e-3 to land on moon next year

Moon crater yields impact clues

Study: Moon basin formed by giant impact

NASA's LADEE Spacecraft Gets Final Science Instrument Installed

ENERGY TECH
One Year After Launch, Curiosity Rover Busy on Mars

Fostering Curiosity: Mars Express relays rocky images

Matijevic Hill Survey Complete And Rover Passes 22 Miles Of Driving!

NASA monitors massive dust storm on Mars

ENERGY TECH
Who's Killing the Space Program?

Fly me to the universe

UK Secures Billion Pound Package For Space Investment

Europe, U.S. talk space program link

ENERGY TECH
Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

ENERGY TECH
NASA, Roscosmos Assign Veteran Crew to Yearlong Space Station Mission

Three ISS crew return to Earth in Russian capsule

Station Crew Off Duty After Undocking

Space station command changes

ENERGY TECH
EchoStar and Arianespace sign new satellite launch services contract

Soyuz ready for Friday launch of Pleiades 1B at Kourou

Sea Launch Postpones Satellite Launch Until Dec. 3

S.Korean Rocket Set to Lift Off Thursday

ENERGY TECH
Magnesium oxide: From Earth to super-Earth

Rare image of Super-Jupiter sheds light on planet formation

Astronomers Directly Image Massive Star's 'Super-Jupiter'

NASA's Kepler Wraps Prime Mission, Begins Extension

ENERGY TECH
20 workers injured as tornado hits Italy steel plant

Windows 8 sales hit 40 million: Microsoft

Japan firm offers 3D model of foetus

Modeling the breaking points of metallic glasses




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement