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Monday, 26 June 2017

A family coup in Saudi Arabia

A family coup in Saudi Arabia:

"A week ago I heard a faint rumour of an intense quarrel within the Saudi royal family, which was presumed to be focused on an attempt to force King Salman to rein in his son, the 31-year-old deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and to return the country to something closer to normality after three years of chaotic ambition and growing instability. I started to draft a piece discussing how such a coup could reshape the oil market and what action Saudi, under new leadership could take to halt the continuing fall in oil prices. Now it seems the rumour was correct but the presumption was mistaken. The winner of the coup was not as expected the crown prince Mohammed bin Nayaf but MbS himself, who has deposed the crown prince and taken full authority over everything including the key role of internal security. Prince Nayef, one of the most experienced and respected of the Saudi leaders, has been shown in a humiliating picture kneeling in supplication. There is something Shakespearean about what is happening. Who better to chronicle the unravelling story of the House of Saud? An ailing king breaks the delicate balance of the ruling family to promote his son — a young man whose vanity can be exploited by every breed of consultant and banker — over the trusted heir apparent. All this against the background of falling revenues from the kingdom’s one source of wealth, hostility from neighbours and sometime friends, in the context of a region split by the revival of religious conflicts. We are somewhere between King Lear and Richard II."



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