The Heat discusses the future of Saudi Arabia

The Heat

Salman bin Abdul Aziz inherited a major crisis in the Middle East as he becomes the seventh king of Saudi Arabia. All weekend, dignitaries arrived in Riyadh to pay their respects to King Abdullah who died Friday at the age of 90 after being hospitalized with pneumonia.  The late king is being remembered as a progressive reformer who provided the kingdom with 20 years of stability.

His designated successor, King Salman, faces many domestic and external challenges including the collapse of the pro-Saudi government in Yemen, the rise of Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria, and plunging oil prices.

To discuss, The Heat brought together Mohammad Alheezen, a Media Consultant for the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education, and Khaled Batarfi, a journalist and assistant professor at Prince Sultan College for Tourism and Business.

The Heat discusses the future of Saudi Arabia

Salman bin Abdul Aziz inherited a major crisis in the Middle East as he becomes the seventh king of Saudi Arabia. All weekend, dignitaries arrived in Riyadh to pay their respects to King Abdullah who died Friday at the age of 90 after being hospitalized with pneumonia. The late king is being remembered as a progressive reformer who provided the kingdom with 20 years of stability.

Saudi Arabia and the United States remain allies, despite many differences.  U.S. President Barack Obama will travel to Riyadh on Tuesday to pay his respects to the late King Abdullah and meet with the new King Salman.

Saudi Arabia has been a key Arab ally of Washington and joined the U.S.-led coalition last year which is carrying out airstrikes in the fight against Islamic militants.

Tensions flared between the two countries after the Obama administration refused to take action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  There’s also growing fears about a possible nuclear deal with Saudi-rival Iran.

Robert Jordan joined The Heat. He served as the U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following the deadly September eleventh, 2001 attacks on U.S. targets by al Qaeda.

Madawi Al-Rasheed also joined the show. She’s a visiting professor at the Middle East Centre with the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Madawi Al-Rasheed and Rober Jordan discuss the future of Saudi Arabia

Salman bin Abdul Aziz inherited a major crisis in the Middle East as he becomes the seventh king of Saudi Arabia. All weekend, dignitaries arrived in Riyadh to pay their respects to King Abdullah who died Friday at the age of 90 after being hospitalized with pneumonia. The late king is being remembered as a progressive reformer who provided the kingdom with 20 years of stability.