MIDDLE EAST

A lesson in Saudi Arabia’s royal reshuffle

The video clip, which showed the allegiance of former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was no longer than 26 seconds, yet it was enough to send strong messages to Saudi Arabia and other countries on the Royal house’s stability and ability to move forward amid harsh conditions. It also showed how the Saudis were able to decide on the succession of governance smoothly, like no other country would have managed.

By appointing a new crown prince in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, the Kingdom has sent a strong message for the world countries confirming its stability and capability of moving forward in then same moderate approach.

It also proved that a country of the size of Saudi Arabia, the value of its economy and the wide range of its relations and alliances will always stay stable and secured, as it always has been, and in trustworthy leadership. Its rulers change, yet its compass never deviates. It moves steadily in an area full of chaos, it is Saudi Arabia.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz descends from a royal family. Few hours after taking over the rule in January 2015, he was quick to complete the transition process, taking a historic decision to hand over the reins, for the first time in the history of the state, to the second generation of the family of the House of Saud.

That step was huge and awaited by everyone in Saudi Arabia and abroad, and when the time came for it to be made, King Salman carried it out swiftly in keeping with the circumstances and the state’s need for it at this stage.

Throughout the two and a half years, the Saudi King has been able to establish a new generation of Al Saud working in harmony and led by Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a new and emerging phase of the history of the Kingdom.

The Saudis have also been accustomed to pledge allegiance to the chosen king or crown prince. What is certain is that the choice has always been up to people’s trust, and this time won’t be different

Salman al-Dossary

Clarity of vision

That was clear whether through the decisions to appoint deputies of the princes in different areas or the last of those who were appointed on Wednesday. With the clarity of the future vision for Saudi Arabia, this new generation is expected by the citizens to make many achievements, and they have a huge responsibility to make the wishes of the citizens come true.

The Saudi stock market hit a rise that was the largest in two years at 5.5 percent just a few hours after the appointment of Prince Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince. This was the natural response and the positive interaction of the market forces with the historic decision.

There is no clearer, more explicit indicator for the stability of any country than the stock market, or one that can not be manipulated over time as the capital markets; thus, the reaction of the Saudi stock market reflected the optimism of most Saudis about the change in their country.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman succeeded in developing the “Saudi Vision 2030” to achieve sustainable development, reduce the Kingdom’s dependence on oil and lead an unprecedented challenge to create a new face for the state that has to grow with the help of its people, not only oil.

The mechanism

Saudis have been accustomed since the establishment of this state 300 years ago to their monarchy system, which stipulates that the king is the one who chooses his crown prince. This mechanism continued even after the establishment of the third Saudi state by King Abdulaziz.

When the Allegiance Council was established, the 34 sons of the founding King participated in the selection of the Crown Prince under the banner of the Council, which is an integrated system for the appointment or exemption of the Crown Prince.

Undoubtedly, the choice is the exclusive responsibility of the ruling family, and the Saudi citizens trust what the family of Al Saud decides on. The Saudis have also been accustomed to pledge allegiance to the chosen king or crown prince. What is certain is that the choice has always been up to people’s trust, and this time won’t be different.

Saudi Arabia’s internal front proves every day that it is the magic formula for the stability of the kingdom, a front that harmonizes in a balanced rhythm whenever it needs to be strengthened more firmly. At the same time, this country affirms its own unique characteristic: it grows older but never ages.

Saudi Arabia has also become accustomed throughout its history to the fact that it is a cornerstone of stability.

This article was first published in Asharq Al-Awsat.
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Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

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Last Update: Friday, 23 June 2017 KSA 09:36 - GMT 06:36
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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