Friday, June 06, 2003

Is King Fahd dead?
There is no evidence that he is, but I belong to a specialized mailing list where the question has been posed by one of the participants, citing "converging information" and alleged reports that the Al Saud princes have been asked to return home. If the story is true (and again there is no evidence that it is), it would be a key moment in Saudi Arabia, since, though he was physically and mentally disabled, the king, by his mere presence, was the ingredient maintaining unity in the family. With him dead, Fahd's brothers, particularly Prince Sultan and Prince Nayef (all children of a Sudairi mother), and his half-brother Crown Prince Abdullah, must agree a successor. It is known that there are strong rivalries between the Sudairis and Abdullah.

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