The Heat discusses leadership change in Saudi Arabia

The Heat

There has been growing speculation over the last few months about a possible leadership change in Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah, who has ruled since he took office in 2005 as his country’s sixth king, has been ill.

The 90-year-old monarch, with a history of medical problems, has been battling pneumonia.

The king’s likely successor is his half-brother, Crown Prince Salman. The 79-year-old is next in line to the throne and is Saudi Arabia’s deputy prime minister and defense minister. Another half-brother of King Abdullah, 69-year-old Prince Muqrin, has been named as second in line to succeed.

With a population of about 29 million, Saudi Arabia is a key state in the Middle East. Its citizens are predominantly Sunni Muslim with a Shia minority. It shares a long border with war-torn Iraq and also borders an unstable Yemen and has been part of the fight against Islamic State fighters.

Many also consider Saudi Arabia to be the world’s most important oil producing nation.

The Heat interviewed columnist Abdulateef Al-Mulhim of the daily Saudi newspaper, Al Yaum. He’s also a columnist for Arab News. The Heat also interviewed Ali Al-Ahmed, a Saudi scholar and founder of the Institute for Gulf Affairs.

The Heat discusses leadership change in Saudi Arabia

There has been growing speculation over the last few months about a possible leadership change in Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah, who has ruled since he took office in 2005 as his country’s sixth king, has been ill. The Heat interviewed columnist Abdulateef Al-Mulhim of the daily Saudi newspaper, Al Yaum. He’s also a columnist for Arab News.

The Heat’s Anand Naidoo also interviewed James Smith, a former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Former U.S. Ambassador discusses Saudi Arabia leadership

There has been growing speculation over the last few months about a possible leadership change in Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah, who has ruled since he took office in 2005 as his country’s sixth king, has been ill. The Heat’s Anand Naidoo also interviewed James Smith, a former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.