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King Abdullah's death not to affect Saudi policy — Russian expert

January 23, 2015, 14:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Saudi Arabia will keep its course in regard of radical Islamism, foreign policy and confrontation with the US oil shale industry, which spurs Riyadh's efforts on the collapse of oil prices
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Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah

© EPA/STRINGER

MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. No changes in Saudi Arabia's policy should be expected following the death of King Abdullah, a prominent Russian Middle East expert said on Friday.

King Abdullah, one of the world’s most powerful people, died on Friday at the age of 90. His half-brother, Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, acceded to the Saudi throne.

"Saudi Arabia will be Saudi Arabia. We can expect anything but nothing will change. Saudi Arabia will keep doing what it has been doing," Yevgeny Satanovsky, the head of the Moscow-based Middle East Institute, told TASS.

"This concerns radical Islamism, the choice of allies, foreign policy and confrontation with the US oil shale industry, which spurs Riyadh's efforts on the collapse of oil prices," Satanovsky said.

"Nothing will change in [Saudi] policy on Iran, Qatar and the Islamic State, as well as in the strategic union with Egypt," he added.

The expert said changes would be linked to new appointments. "Some clans of the royal family will weaken and other will grow stronger," Satanovsky said.

He also said that the developments in Saudi Arabia after the change of generations would be more interesting.

"Prince Salman has just become king. His successor Prince Muqrin is the last child of King Abdulaziz ibn Saud, the founder of the House [of Saud]. They will be succeeded by the generation of [King Ibn Saud's] grandsons and the intrigue is who will be the king then," Satanovsky said.

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