Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

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Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Minister of Interior
In office 18 June 2012 – 5 November 2012
Predecessor Nayef bin Abdulaziz
Successor Mohammed bin Nayef
Monarch King Abdullah
Deputy Minister of Interior
In office 1975 – 18 June 2012
Monarch King Khalid
King Fahd
King Abdullah
Deputy Governor of Makkah Province
In office 1971 – 1975
Monarch King Faisal
Full name
Ahmed bin Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud
House House of Saud
Father King Abdulaziz
Mother Hassa Al Sudairi
Born 1942 (age 71–72)
Riyadh
Religion Islam

Ahmed bin Abdulaziz (Arabic: احمد بن عبد العزيز آل سعود‎ ) (born 1942) is the former minister of interior and a member of House of Saud.

Early life and education[edit]

Prince Ahmed was born in Riyadh in 1942.[1][2] He is the son of King Abdulaziz and Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi and the youngest member of Sudairi brothers.[3] Prince Ahmed is supposedly the 31st son of King Abdulaziz.[4][5] Since his father died when he was eleven in 1953, he was raised by his mother and his brothers. His eldest brother King Fahd was a father-figure for him.[6]

Ahmed bin Abdulaziz received his primary and secondary education at Princes School and Anjal Institute in Riyadh.[2] He completed secondary education in 1961.[7] He studied English and some science subjects at the University of Southern California (USC).[7] He then graduated from the University of Redlands in 1968, with a bachelor of arts degree in political science.[1] On 26 July 1999, Prince Ahmed was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from the University of Redlands.[8]

Career[edit]

After his graduation, Prince Ahmed dealt with business. He was the chairman of National Gypsum Company from 1969 to 1970.[7] In 1971, he appointed the undersecretary of Makkah Province.[7] He also served as the deputy governor of Makkah Province during the reign of King Faisal.[5] Later, King Khalid appointed him as the deputy minister of interior in 1975[7] which lasted until 18 June 2012 when he was named interior minister.[9]

His main function as deputy interior minister was to deal with the different provinces of the Kingdom.[10] Ahmed bin Abdulaziz was also operational head of special security force, which reports directly to interior minister. This force was established in 1979 after the poor performance of the SANG at the Grand Mosque Seizure in Makkah.[11]

Prince Ahmed was given the task of introducing reforms in the Eastern Province during the early 1980s to improve the province where the kingdom’s Shi’ite minority lives.[12] In fact, this task was given him in the wake of the riots experienced in the province in 1979 to make observations about the effects of the Iranian Revolution and the Shi’ite dissention on the security of oil industry. Prince Ahmad openly declared that the Saudi government had neglected the region and had actively discriminated against its Shi’ite population. He also promised massive investments in the development of Al Hasa’s economic infrastructure, educational system, and other services.[13] The other task of Prince Ahmed as deputy interior minister was to coordinate the contacts with ulema (the religious leaders).[14] He also served as the vice president of the supreme commission for industrial security and chairman of preparatory committee for national security.[7] In addition, he was the deputy chairman of civil defense council.[15] Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi stated that Prince Ahmed had mostly involved in administrative matters instead of security during his tenure as deputy interior minister.[9]

Prince Ahmed was appointed interior minister on 18 June 2012 after the death of former interior minister Prince Nayef.[16] It was reported that he would not change the major security policies of Saudi Arabia since the country experienced a threat from Al Qaeda in Yemen and an unrest among its Shi'ite Muslim minority.[9] His appointment as interior minister was also regarded as a move, signalling that he was the most likely candidate to rule Saudi Arabia after King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman.[17] However, Prince Ahmed's tenure lasted until 5 November 2012, and he was succeeded by Mohammed bin Nayef, who was former deputy interior minister.[18] The official reason for Prince Ahmed's removal was given as his request.[19] However, his objection to divide the security forces into independent units was one of the actual reasons for his dismissal.[20]

Prince Ahmed was also the chairman of the supreme hajj committee during his term as interior minister.[21]

Popularity[edit]

Nawaf E. Obaid argued in 2002 that especially three members of House of Saud were popular, although many of them were believed to be corrupt. Prince Ahmed is one of these popular members, the others are then-crown prince King Abdullah and then-Riyadh governor Prince Salman.[22] Prince Ahmed was also seen one of the potential candidates to the Saudi throne at the beginning of the 2000s.[23] However, on 27 March 2014 he was sidelined by Muqrin in the sense that Muqrin was appointed to the new position of Deputy Crown Prince.

Together with the former interior minister Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Prince Ahmed was reported to pay massive bonuses to successful security officers, but also have a reputation for honesty and using the massive security budget only for the mission and not to enrich themselves.[10]

Views and activities[edit]

Ahmed bin Abdulaziz visited Pakistan in November 2005 for three days and examined the extent of destruction caused by the Kashmir earthquake from an airplane. He promised to provide Pakistan whatever needed for the rebuilding process after the earthquake. He encouraged all Muslim nations to provide aid to Pakistan. He also condemned terrorism and stated it was incompatible with Islam.[24] Prince Ahmed called for a "border fence" between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The plan for the fence was initiated in 2006 and he stated repeatedly it would not become a "segregation wall".[25]

On 29 November 2010, he attended the Crown Prince Cup, an annual horse race on behalf of late Crown Prince Sultan who was in Morocco.[26] He said in a press conference in 2011 that for women, driving is against the law.[27] After his appointment as interior minister, it was argued that like Crown Prince Salman, he was also supporter of King Abdullah's cautious reform initiatives.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Ahmed bin Abdulaziz has two wives with whom he has five daughters and seven sons. His eldest son, Abdulaziz (born 1963), is secretary general of Arab Ophthalmology.[29] Another son, Nayef, holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University[30] and is a colonel in the Saudi Armed Forces with responsibilities for strategic planning.[31] One of Prince Ahmed's daughters, Falwa bint Ahmed, is married to Salman bin Sultan, assistant general secretary of the National Security Council and late Prince Sultan's son.[32]

Prince Ahmed is honorary president of Saudi Alzheimer's Charitable Society.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Minister of Interior". Saudi Embassy Washington DC. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Chairman of Supreme Council". Naif Arab University for Security Sciences. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Winberg Chai (22 September 2005). Saudi Arabia: A Modern Reader. University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-88093-859-4. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Abdullah Al Shihri; Brian Murphy (18 June 2012). "Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia's Defense Minister, Named Crown Prince". The Huffington Post. AP. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Sharaya, Ali (19 June 2012). "Profile: Prince Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz". Asharq Alawsat. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz". Wikipedia. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Who is Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz?". Saudi Gazette. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Biography of H.R.H Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior". 21 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c McDowall, Angus (18 June 2012). "Saudi appoints Prince Salman as crown prince". Reuters. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Anthony H. Cordesman; Nawaf Obaid (2004). "Saudi internal security: A risk assessment". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Gonzales, Michael G. (2009). "Combating Deviants: The Saudi Arabian Approach to Countering Extremism and Terrorism". United States Army Command and General Staff College. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "Challenges Facing The New Crown Prince Of Saudi Arabia". Alifarabia. 30 October 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  13. ^ Reinhold, Baron (June 2001). "Omnibalancing and the House of Saud". Naval Postgraduate School, California. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  14. ^ Taheri, Amir (2012). "Saudi Arabia: Change Begins within the Family". The Journal of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy 34 (3): 138 143. doi:10.1080/10803920.2012.686725. 
  15. ^ "CDO Grants Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Medal of Commander". Gulf in the Media (Riyadh). Saudi Press Agency. 4 October 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "Prince Salman named Saudi crown prince". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  17. ^ McDowall, Angus (19 June 2012). "Saudi succession in spotlight after new heir named". Reuters. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "Saudi Arabia's king appoints new interior minister". BBC. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "Saudi king fires interior minister seen as contender for throne". WorldTribune (Abu Dhabi). 7 November 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  20. ^ Bar'el, Zvi (25 June 2013). "In Saudi Arabia, the king is counting his days". Haaretz. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "Prince Ahmed: Elaborate plans in place for the Makkah rush". Saudi Gazette (Jeddah). 9 August 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  22. ^ Obaid, Nawaf E. (January–February 2002). "In Al Saud we trust". Foreign Policy, 128: 72–74. JSTOR 3183359. 
  23. ^ Taheri, Amir (2004). "Saudi Arabia: Between Terror and Reform". American Foreign Policy Interests 26: 457–465. doi:10.1080/10803920490905523. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  24. ^ "S. Arabia promises ‘unlimited’ help". Dawn. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  25. ^ "Border fence with Iraq 'not a segregation wall'". Gulf News. 2 October 2006. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  26. ^ "Crown Prince Cup". Saudi Gazette. 9 January 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  27. ^ Al Omran, Ahmad. "Driving while female: More Saudi women stopped on the road". NPR. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  28. ^ Irfan Al Alawi; Stephen Schwartz (22 June 2012). "Weekly Standard: Hope for Reform In Saudi Arabia?". NPR. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  29. ^ Sharif, Sabri (2001). The House of Saud in Commerce: A Study of Royal Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia. New Delhi: I. S. Publication. ISBN 81-901254-0-0. 
  30. ^ Kechichian, Joseph A (2001). Succession in Saudi Arabia. PALGRAVE. 
  31. ^ "Underpinning Saudi National Security Strategy". JFQ. 2002. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  32. ^ "Family Tree of Salman bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud". Datarabia. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  33. ^ "Deputy Interior Minister hails Alzheimer's Society achievements". Ministry of Interior. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Minister of Interior
June – November 2012
Succeeded by
Mohammed bin Nayef