The brother of Saudi Arabia’s former leader, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, has become king, following Abdullah’s death.
His name is Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
King Salman was born in Riyadh in 1935, making him 79 years old. He’s educated in religion and modern science.
Salman has held several positions within the kingdom since 1954, and was named Crown Prince in 2012.
He was governor of Riyadh province for five decades before that.
King Salman has been part of the ruling clique of princes for decades.
And as far as how he will rule, most think he will continue the status quo in Saudi Arabia strategic policy. That includes maintaining the alliance with the US and working toward energy-market stability.
During his five decades as Riyadh governor, he was supposedly rather adept at managing the delicate balance of clerical, tribal, and princely interests that determine Saudi policy, while maintaining good relations with the West.
Salman is reportedly in poor health, which raises questions about how fit he may be to tackle ongoing conflicts in the region. Saudi Arabia is part of the US-led coalition targeting ISIS, the militant group sweeping through wide swaths of the Middle East.
Before his death, Abdullah named his youngest brother, Muqrin, as the deputy heir last March.
The choice of Muqrin, a British-educated fighter pilot who has close ties to the US, is controversial, partly because he is the son of a Yemeni concubine who was never formally married to his father, King Abdulaziz Al-Saud, who founded the Saudi state in 1932.