US embassy cable - 87RIYADH10227

OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY OF CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH

Identifier: 87RIYADH10227
Wikileaks: View 87RIYADH10227 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Riyadh
Created: 1987-10-08 10:23:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PREL PINR SA
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 081023Z OCT 87
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6540
INFO AMCONSUL DHAHRAN
AMCONSUL JEDDAH
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 RIYADH 10227 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR 
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PINR, SA 
SUBJECT: OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY OF CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL--ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  FOLLOWING IS AN OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY SENT TO THE 
EMBASSY FROM CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH'S OFFICE IN THE 
NATIONAL GUARD TO ASSIST IN PLANNING FOR ABDULLAH'S 
VISIT TO WASHINGTON.  WHILE THE BIOGRAPHY CONTAINS 
NOTHING SURPRISING, IT IS NOTEWORTHY FOR ITS EMPHASIS ON 
THE CONTINUITY OF THE AL SAUD PRESENCE IN THE ARABIAN 
PENINSULA SINCE THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY AND ITS STRESS ON 
ABDULLAH'S ROLE AS AN INTERNATIONAL STATESMAN.  AN 
UNOFFICIAL EMBASSY TRANSLATION FOLLOWS.  WE WILL POUCH 
ORIGINAL ARABIC TO NEA/ARP. 
 
 
BEGIN TEXT OF CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH'S BIOGRAPHY: 
 
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE ABDULLAH IBN ABD AL-AZIZ 
CROWN PRINCE, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND 
COMMANDER OF THE SAUDI ARABIAN NATIONAL GUARD 
 
BIRTH: 
 
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE ABDULLAH IBN ABD AL-AZIZ IBN 
ABD AR-RAHMAN AL-FAYSAL AL SAUD WAS BORN IN THE CITY OF 
RIYADH, CAPITAL OF THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA IN 1343H 
CORRESPONDING TO 1924 AD. 
 
HIS FAMILY: 
 
HE BELONGS TO THE AL SAUD FAMILY.  HIS FATHER IS THE 
LATE KING ABD AL-AZIZ IBN ABD AR-RAHMAN AL-FAYSAL AL 
SAUD (1880-1953 A.D.), WHO FOUNDED THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI 
ARABIA AFTER HE BOLDLY EMBARKED ON THE BATTLE TO UNIFY 
THE ARABIAN PENINSULA IN THE FIRST THIRD OF THE 20TH 
CENTURY.  HE BROUGHT HIS PEOPLE FROM A STATE OF 
CONTENTIOUS TRIBES AND SMALL, ISOLATED PRINCIPALITIES 
INTO A MODERN ARAB NATION THAT HAS ADOPTED ISLAM BOTH AS 
A WAY OF LIFE AND CONSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT.  KING ABD 
AL-AZIZ ALWAYS BELIEVED, "WE, THE AL SAUD, ARE FIRST A 
HOUSE WITH A RELIGIOUS MESSAGE, AND THEN A HOUSE OF 
RULERS." 
 
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: 
 
THE AL SAUD FAMILY TRACES ITS ROOTS TO THE TRIBE OF ANZA 
IBN RABE'A, NUMERICALLY THE LARGEST ARAB TRIBE.  IT CAME 
INTO PROMINENCE DURING THE LAST TWO CENTURIES AS THE 
FAMILY OF REFORM AND RECONSTRUCTION OF THE INTELLECTUAL, 
CULTURAL, AND LINGUISTIC UNITY OF THE ARAB PENINSULA, 
BASED ON THE ISLAMIC TRADITIONALIST MOVEMENT FOUNDED BY 
A SON OF THE NEW-ISLAMIC RENAISSANCE, SHEIKH MOHAMMAD 
IBN ABD AL-WAHAB (1703-1792 AD).  FIRST AMONG THOSE WHO 
SUPPORTED THE SHEIKH IN THE SPREAD OF HIS CALL WAS 
PRINCE MOHAMMAD IBN SAUD WHO DIED IN 1765H.  HE WAS THE 
FOUNDER OF THE FIRST SAUDI DYNASTY, WHICH ITSELF PASSED 
THROUGH SEVERAL STAGES, INCLUDING THE PERIOD OF THE 
GREAT IMAMS WHO FOUGHT SUPERSTITIONS, UNIFIED THE RANKS 
OF THE NATION AND WERE DEEMED TO BE THE PIONEERS OF 
RELIGIOUS, ETHICAL, AND SOCIAL REFORM. 
 
THE UNIFICATION AND RENOVATION MOVEMENT LED BY KING ABD 
AL-AZIZ, FATHER OF PRINCE ABDULLAH, IS A CONTINUATION OF 
THE STRUGGLE OF HIS FAMILY TO MOTIVATE MUSLIM ARAB 
SOCIETY TOWARD A REAWAKENING AND STRUCTURING, BASED ON 
TRUE FAITH, RETURN TO THE PURE TEACHINGS OF THE HOLY 
KORAN AND PURE PROPHETIC TRADITIONS. 
 
 
INFLUENCES IN PRINCE ABDULLAH'S LIFE: 
 
A.  PRINCE ABDULLAH LEARNED POLITICS AT HIS FATHER'S SIDE. 
 
B.  HE BEGAN HIS EDUCATION IN THE TRADITIONAL ISLAMIC 
WAY, IN THE MOSQUES UNDER RELIGIOUS SCHOLARS WHO 
CULTIVATED HIS MIND.  HE IS AN AVID AND VORACIOUS READER 
INTERESTED IN CULTURE, POLITICS, AND ECONOMICS. 
 
 
C.  HIS FAMILY: 
 
FOUR OF THE CROWN PRINCE'S BROTHERS, UNDER WHOM HE HAS 
SERVED IN THE SAUDI GOVERNMENT, HAVE BEEN KING: 
 
--SAUD IBN ABD AL-AZIZ (1952-1964) 
--FAYSAL IBN ABD AL-AZIZ (1964-1975) 
--KHALED IBN ABD AL-AZIZ (1975-1982) 
--KING FAHD IBN ABD AL-AZIZ, THE CURRENT KING (WHOM 
  PRINCE ABDULLAH NOW SERVES AS CROWN PRINCE) 
 
D.  AS CROWN PRINCE, PRINCE ABDULLAH IS IN CLOSE CONTACT 
WITH URBAN, RURAL AND DESERT SAUDI SOCIETY.  HE OFTEN 
MEETS WITH THE ULEMA, SHEIKHS AND RELIGIOUS COUNSELORS 
FOR AN EXCHANGE OF VIEWS AND CONSULTATIONS.  HE ALSO 
RECEIVES ANY SAUDI NATIONAL WHO REQUESTS A MEETING WITH 
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS FOR ANY RELIGIOUS OR MUNDANE MATTER. 
 
 
INSTALLATION OF PRINCE ABDULLAH AS CROWN PRINCE: 
 
ON SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 1982, THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA 
PROCLAIMED HIS MAJESTY KING FAHD IBN ABD AL-AZIZ KING 
AND LEADER AND HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE ABDULLAH CROWN 
PRINCE.  ALL MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY ACKNOWLEDGED 
THEM AND PAID HOMAGE TO THEM.  THE EVENING OF THE SAME 
DAY, KING FAHD APPOINTED PRINCE ABDULLAH DEPUTY PRIME 
MINISTER AND COMMANDER OF THE NATIONAL GUARD, IN 
ADDITION TO HIS POST AS CROWN PRINCE. 
 
 
COMMANDER OF THE NATIONAL GUARD: 
 
WHEN KING FAYSAL IBN ABD AL-AZIZ ASSUMED POWER, HE WAS 
FULLY AWARE THAT HIS ERA WOULD BE HISTORICALLY 
SIGNIFICANT.  HE THEREFORE SELECTED HIS OFFICIALS FOR 
THEIR QUALITY.  THE NATIONAL GUARD, WHICH BRINGS 
TOGETHER THE DESCENDENTS OF THOSE WHO LIVED WITH KING 
ABD AL-AZIZ WHEN HE UNITED THE KINGDOM, HAS A SPECIAL 
SIGNIFICANCE.  THE NATIONAL GUARD NEEDED A MAN WHO COULD 
LEAD AND DEVELOP THE FORCE INTO A SETTLED INSTITUTION. 
PRINCE ABDULLAH WAS SUCH A MAN.  KING FAYSAL THEREFORE 
CHOSE HIM TO TAKE ON THE RESPONSIBILITY IN 1964 
(1384H).  PRINCE ABDULLAH'S APPOINTMENT WAS A MILESTONE 
FOR THE INSTITUTION, AND SINCE THEN, PRINCE ABDULLAH HAS 
COMMANDED THE FORCE, A LEADER CLOSE TO HIS MEN WHO PAYS 
ATTENTION TO THEIR CONCERNS AND LIVES, WITH THE 
CONSCIENCE AND SPIRIT OF A MUSLIM COMMANDER. 
 
 
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: 
 
IN 1975, KING KHALED APPOINTED PRINCE ABDULLAH SECOND 
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, IN ADDITION TO HIS POST AS 
COMMANDER OF THE NATIONAL GUARD. 
 
 
ARAB AND ISLAMIC RELATIONS: 
 
AS PART OF THE POLICY OF THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA TO 
STRENGTHEN ARAB AND ISLAMIC SOLIDARITY AND PURSUE JOINT 
ENDEAVORS WHICH SERVE THE ISLAMIC AND ARAB NATION AND TO 
DEEPEN THE EXISTING BROTHERLY TIES AMONG ARAB STATES 
WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE ARAB LEAGUE AND THE ARAB 
SUMMITS, PRINCE ABDULLAH HAS TRAVELED AND HAD NUMEROUS 
CONTACTS WITH THE LEADERS OF THE ARAB AND ISLAMIC 
WORLD.  THE CROWN PRINCE WORKS CONSTANTLY TO HEAL ARAB 
RIFTS. 
 
IN HIS VIEW, RIYADH IS A PLACE OPEN TO ALL ARABS BECAUSE 
OF THE KINGDOM'S SPECIAL ROLE IN GUARDING THE HOLIEST 
ARAB AND MUSLIM SHRINES. 
 
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS HAS VISITED THE FOLLOWING ARAB 
COUNTRIES: 
 
1975  LEBANON 
1977  EGYPT 
1977  SYRIA 
1977  JORDAN 
1979  LIBYA 
1979  UAE 
1984  KUWAIT 
1985  ALGERIA 
1985  SYRIA 
1986  YEMEN 
1986  SYRIA 
1986  IRAQ 
 
 
OTHER MUSLIM COUNTRIES: 
 
1984  PAKISTAN 
1984  TURKEY 
 
 
INTERNATIONAL ARENA: 
 
IT IS CERTAIN THAT THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA HAS A 
MAJOR ROLE IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, AND A PIVOTAL 
ROLE TO PLAY IN FURTHERING WORLD STABILITY.  IT ALSO 
PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN OPEC, IN THE NORTH-SOUTH 
DIALOGUE, AND IN COOPERATION BETWEEN THE NON-ALIGNED 
STATES, AS WELL AS OTHER INTERNATIONAL MARKETS AND 
PROBLEMS.  THEREFORE, PRINCE ABDULLAH HAS VISITED THE 
FOLLOWING COUNTRIES: 
 
1974  SPAIN 
1975  UNITED KINGDOM 
1975  UNITED STATES 
1984  UNITED KINGDOM 
1984  SPAIN 
1985  FRANCE 
1985  AUSTRIA 
 
 
HOBBIES: 
 
READING AND HORSEMANSHIP, IN THE ARAB TRADITION.  THE 
CROWN PRINCE IS PRESIDENT OF THE SAUDI EQUESTRIAN CLUB 
IN RIYADH. 
 
 
END TEXT. 
 
 
HORAN## 

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