After all the encomiums following the death of Pr Sultan last week, one might think the Saudi media might be running out of positive adjectives. Not a chance…
Today, the media is filled with multifaceted praise for the new Crown Prince, Naif. Certainly, Naif has been successful in leading Saudi Arabia’s war on terror. It has been a while since any attacks were made within the Kingdom and the few attempts have been amateurish. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been chased out of the country and now operates out of the lawless areas of Yemen.
The papers also note, unsurprisingly, that world leaders and their ambassadors are all praising the choice of the new, ‘visionary’ Crown Prince. It never hurts to be on the good side of a future ruler. I’m sure that businesses, particularly those with government contracts, will be taking out full page ads commending the prince and his selections.
It is to be noted, though, that his selection is the first to be made by the Allegiance Council, created in 2006 to address issues of succession to the throne. The Council worked smoothly, taking only a matter of days to make its selection. This bodes well for its next big challenge. When the current king dies, whenever that happens, the Crown Prince will succeed him. A new Crown Prince will need to be named. Based on its sole action to date, it looks as those that process will move effectively as well. Absent any abrupt changes in Saudi politics, it should also go smoothly.