Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s path to the throne

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz walks to his seat when he was crown prince to join other world leaders to watch a cultural performance of indigenous dancers at the G20 in Brisbane, Australia. (AP)

Following the passing of King Abdullah early on Friday, Saudi Arabia’s new monarch King Salman bin Abdulaziz receive pledges of allegiance from citizens on Friday evening.

King Salman is now the seventh ruler of the country, founded by his father, King Abdulaziz al-Saud. The new leader is the 25th son of the kingdom's founder.

Born on Dec. 31, 1935, King Salman received his early education at the Princes’ School in the capital Riyadh where he studied religion and modern science. He memorized the Quran by the age of 10, under the tutelage of the imam and preacher of the Grand Mosque.

The king showed interest in science since childhood, and later earned several honorary certificates and academic awards. A list of his educational achievements can be found here.

Political beginnings

In 1954, at the age of 19, Salman was appointed representative and emir of Riyadh province. A year later, he was appointed as governor of the Riyadh province, with the rank of minister, returning to the Riyadh palace where he was born and raised.

Under his decades-long governorship, Riyadh developed from a town of 200,000 people into one of the fastest growing cities in the Arab world, with a population of more than 5 million.

In 2011, the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz issued a decree appointing the then Prince Salman as defense minister, overseeing the entire armed forces including the Royal Saudi land, air, naval, and other security forces.

In 2012, he was appointed by late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz as crown prince, second deputy prime minister as well as defense minister, after the passing of the late Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz.

Humanitarian efforts

Since 1956, King Salman has chaired various humanitarian and service committees that provide relief from war and natural disasters.

He is also known for his philanthropic efforts, including his presidency of the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research, the honorary presidency of the Prince Fahd bin Salman Charitable Society for the Care of Kidney Patients and the honorary presidency of the Saudi Organ Transplant Center.

He has received many medals for his humanitarian efforts, including awards from France, Bahrain, Morocco, Palestine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Philippines, Senegal, Yemen and the United Nations.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 12:05 - GMT 09:05
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