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HM King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud

King of Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques

HM King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud was proclaimed the seventh king of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in January 2015, after the passing of King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz. He had previously held the position of Crown Prince since June 2012. King Salman’s influence comes from being the absolute monarch of the most powerful Arab nation and is manifested by the role Saudi Arabia plays in three critical areas: 1. having the two holy cities of Makkah and Madina, which millions of Muslims visit throughout the year; 2. exporting crude oil and refined petroleum products, which ensures its central international role, and 3. propagating Islam through its huge da’wa network, which makes its influence felt in all Muslim countries.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques: HM King Salman has significant influence in the global Muslim community through his custodianship of the two holy cities of Makkah and Madina. Makkah is the main pilgrimage site for 1.7 billion Muslims. Each year approximately 4 million pilgrims perform the Hajj. In addition to this, approximately 10 million pilgrims (including Saudi residents and GCC citizens) perform the umrah, ‘the lesser Hajj’, throughout the year. A multi-billion dollar expansion to the two mosques is well under way.

Controller of the World’s Largest Oil Reserves:  HM King Salman reigns over a land of massive crude oil reserves–Saudi Arabia has approximately 20 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves–making him a key player in the global petroleum industry.

Head of the World’s Largest Da’wa Network: King Salman is also head of the most extensive da’wa network of missionary Muslims in the world, promoting the Salafi brand of Islam. Salafism is historically rooted in Saudi Arabia, and owes its global spread to the financial backing of Saudi Arabia.

Successful Governor: King Salman was governor of Riyadh Province from 1955-60 and from 1963-2011. During that period, he oversaw the development of the capital city Riyadh from a small town into a thriving city of more than 7 million people. He played a major role in attracting capital projects and foreign investment into his country and improved political and economic relationships with the West. He built up a strong reputation for having an efficient and corruption-free administration

Services and Awards: King Salman has been recognised for his various humanitarian services by the United Nations, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Morocco, Palestine, the Philippines, Senegal and Yemen amongst other countries. He was also awarded the Kant Medal by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in appreciation of his contributions to science.

Military Action: In March 2015, King Salman launched a nine-state coalition bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen. The campaign is seen by many as curbing Iranian influence in the region. Saudi Arabia is also supporting many of the anti-Assad factions in Syria.

Key Appointments: King Salman has made important decisions regarding appointments in key positions. The most important of these was the appointment of HRH Prince Muhammad bin Naif as Crown Prince. This marks the first time that a grandson of King Abdul-Aziz, rather than a son, has held the position. The transfer of power to the new generation, which some feared would be an issue that would split the country, has been remarkably smooth. King Salman also promoted one of his sons, HRH Prince Muhammad bin Salman, to Defence Minister and Deputy Crown Prince. This came as a surprise appointment, as the king has older and more experienced sons. Another surprise was the appointment of Adel Al-Jubeir, someone who is not a member of the Saudi royal family, as Foreign Minister.

$32 bilKing’s post-coronation giveaways
$265 milfor a Yemen relief centre
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman vowed on Saturday to find out what caused a crane collapse that killed 107 people at Mecca's Grand Mosque ahead of ...

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... Saudi Arabian officials continued this week to refute criticism that the country was not doing enough to help Syrian refugees. King Salman joined ...

Mecca crane collapse: King Salman of Saudi Arabia visits victims of Grand Mosque disaster
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King Salman has pledged to carry out a thorough investigation into the cause of the tragedy.

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Los Angeles Times Saudi King Salman signals support for Iran nuclear deal Los Angeles Times Saudi King Salman signaled broad support for the ...

Inside the meeting between Saudi King Salman and President Obama - Videos - CBS News
2015-09-04 23:09:39

What did the Saudi king discuss with President Obama in a White House visit? Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson Center joined CBSN with ...

Mecca hajj stampede: Road closures for Saudi Arabia King Salman blamed for Eid-al-Adha catastrophe
2015-09-25 11:58:09

Witnesses say crush that left 717 pilgrims dead took place after two roads to Jamarat were closed off.

Hajj stampede: witnesses blame Saudi officials and police as King Salman orders review - World news ...
2015-09-25 06:09:39

... complaints of inexperienced police and a lack of organisation At least 717 people were killed and 863 people were hurt, spurring King Salman ...

"Every citizen in our country and every part of our dear land has all my attention and care. "

Birth: 31 December 1935 (Age: 81)

Source of Influence:

Influence:King with authority over 26 million residents of Saudi Arabia and approximately 14 million pilgrims annually.

School of Thought:

Status: Featured in current year

"Every citizen in our country and every part of our dear land has all my attention and care. "
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$32 bilKing’s post-coronation giveaways
$265 milfor a Yemen relief centre
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