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October 7th, 2004
The Saudi Question
Who's Who: The House of Saud: Prince Salman Ibn Abdul Aziz

In 1962, Prince Salman became the influential Governor of Riyadh Region, which takes its name from Saudi Arabia’s capital city. During that time, he has supervised and encouraged the expansive growth of the city from a mid-sized town into a major urban metropolis. On a larger stage, Prince Salman has also served as an important liaison to develop tourism, capital projects, and foreign investment inside his country. Salman is known to favor strong political and economic ties to the West, but is also a staunch supporter of poor Muslim nations like Somalia, Sudan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and more recently, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Within the House of Saud, Prince Salman has historically been viewed as a kingmaker rather than a potential king. Salman has a reputation for being an intelligent and hard-working man, and is a trusted mediator in settling conflicts amongst the estimated 7,000 princes in the royal family. Prince Salman is also said to wield considerable power as a key figure of the royal council — a post which allows him a hand in assigning the duties of the state to various princes. Such behind-the-scenes influence could allow Salman to subtly tip the balance of power to one faction or another within the family.

Salman is the second youngest of the “Sudairi Seven” and a potentially viable candidate for the title of the next Crown Prince. Some reports have speculated that he may be interested in the title.

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