Stability concerns arise following death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah

World Today

Many are worried about stability in the Middle East following the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. The nation has been known as a “stabilizer country” in a region that often faces conflict. CCTV’s Stephanie Fried in Tel Aviv, Israel, examines how a leadership shift in Saudi Arabia will impact the region.

Stability concerns arise following death of Saudi Arabia\'s King Abdullah

Many are worried about stability in the Middle East following the death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah. The nation has been known as a "stabilizer country" in a region that often faces conflict. CCTV's Stephanie Fried in Tel Aviv, Israel, examines how a leadership shift in Saudi Arabia will impact the region.

King Abdullah’s successor, Crown Prince Salman, has taken the reigns of the country swiftly — a measure intended to keep Saudi Arabia from being swept into the turmoil.

The most immediate threat is next-door: On Thursday, Houthi rebels forced a Yemeni presidential resignation.

The monarchy must also contend with all-out war in Iraq and Syria and criticism over Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in funding extremists.

All this is happening as Saudia Arabia, the world’s leading oil exporter, is hit by plunging oil prices.

A longtime Western ally and moderating influence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Saudi-US relations have been strained recently over newly opened channels between the Obama Administration and Iran.

The leadership shift in Saudi Arabia comes at a highly sensitive time for the monarchy. Analysts predict that if the transition is not smooth, terrorist groups in surrounding countries — and even within the country itself — could take advantage and try to create chaos in the kingdom.


Ellen Laipson of Stimson discusses King Abdullah’s legacy

CCTV America interviewed Ellen Laipson, president and chief executive officer of the global security think tank Stimson, about King Abdullah’s legacy.

Ellen Laipson of Stimson discusses King Abdullah’s legacy

CCTV America interviewed Ellen Laipson, president and chief executive officer of the global security think tank Stimson, about King Abdullah’s legacy.


David Ottaway of Wilson Center discusses death of King Abdullah

CCTV America also interviewed David Ottaway, a former Washington Post foreign correspondent and now a senior scholar at the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program, about the future of Saudi Arabia under a more conservative king.

David Ottaway of Wilson Center discusses death of King Abdullah

CCTV America also interviewed David Ottaway, a former Washington Post foreign correspondent and now a senior scholar at the Wilson Center's Middle East Program, about the future of Saudi Arabia under a more conservative king.