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A Guide to Saudi Arabia Politics: 4. Information on influential people within the government

Information on influential people

Most influential people in the government belong to the royal family, therefore, Prince Salman, his son Prince Sultan ibn Salman, Prince Nayef, Prince Sultan ibn Abd al-Aziz, and his son Prince Bandar ibn Sultan play an important role in Saudi politics.

            Prince Salman governs Riyadh region, which is considered the most influential in Saudi Arabia. Prince Salman is famous among the international investors and has a great influence on business climate in the country. At the same time he is considered to be a very religious person, which results in his heading the charitable organizations that promote Islam. Prince Salman is often linked to Islamic Relief Organization that has connections with Al Qaeda and Popular Committee for Assessing the Palestinian Mujahideen that sponsors groups fighting against Israel (PBS)

            Prince Salman’s son Prince Sultan ibn Salman is the secretary of Tourism in Saudi Arabia and is well-known for his American education and flying on the U.S space shuttle mission (PBS).

            Prince Nayef heads the Saudi department of the interior affairs. Nayef is also thought to have connections with Al Qaeda and Popular Committee for Assessing the Palestinian Mujahideen (PBS).

            Prince Sultan ibn Abd al-Aziz heads the ministry of defense and aviation and in 2005 he became the second in line to become the next Saudi King. Prince Sultan was the person who modernized the Saudi armed forces and established a philanthropic organization. Prior to becoming the minister of defense he held many other governmental positions, such as governor of Riyadh, minister of agriculture and communication (PBS).

            Prince Sultan’s son Prince Bandar is another influential person in Saudi Arabia. He served as a Saudi ambassador to the U.S. for 22 years, participated in peace negotiations in the Middle East, and had access to the most influential people in the American government during the Bush’s presidency (PBS).