National Security Council (Saudi Arabia)

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Saudi National Security Council
Agency overview
Formed 2005
Agency executives King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman
Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Secretary General
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The Saudi National Security Council (SNSC) (Arabic: مجلس أمن قوم المملكة العربية السعوديةMajlis amni qawmi l-mamlukati larabiyyati lsu'oodiya) is the body in charge of coordinating Saudi Arabia's national security, intelligence and foreign policy strategy. It was established in 2005 by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The first and current secretary general of the SNSC is Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi Ambassador to the United States. The assistant secretary general of the SNSC was Prince Salman bin Sultan until 6 August 2013.[1]


The National Security Council was formed on 16 October 2005 by the newly crowned King Abdullah in response to major geopolitical shifts in the Middle East region. The occupation of Iraq made the region "a center for reconstruction, globalization and reorganization" with the entry of the United States as a major player.[2] In addition to its regional influence in the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia is one of the leading actors in the Islamic world and has a central role in global energy policy.


The Council was formed to act as an organizational mechanism that coordinates the Kingdom's internal and external policies relating to national security, enabling it to respond effectively to rapidly changing domestic, regional and international environments.[3] It has the power to declare war and investigate security agencies if they are involved in acts that threaten national security. .[4]

Despite the formation of the Council, as with other Saudi government institutions, major national security decisions will continue to be taken by the most senior members of the royal family, including King Abdullah, King Salman and, Minister of Interior Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.[4]


The SNSC is chaired by the King (who is also Prime Minister), with the Crown Prince (who is also Deputy Prime Minister) as deputy chairman. Its affairs are coordinated by a permanent Secretary General.[5][6] At the time of its formation, other members included the Minister of the Interior, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Commander of the Saudi Arabian National Guard and head of the General Intelligence Presidency.[4] Late Prince Nayef, then interior minister, served as the deputy head of the SNSC.[7]

Saudi National Security Council
Prime Minister
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Deputy Chairman
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Defence
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Secretary General Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
General Intelligence President Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
National Guard Minister Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Minister of Interior Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Al Saud

Secretaries General[edit]

The following is the list of Secretaries General of the Saudi National Security Council since 2005:

  1. Prince Bandar bin Sultan (16 October 2005 – )


  1. ^ "Son of former Saudi crown prince named deputy defence minister". Reuters. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Abdulaziz Sager (11 November 2005). "Saudi National Security Council: Current Role and Future Prospects". Arab News. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Saudi Arabia: Security Reforms and the House of Saud". Lebanon Wire (Stratfor). 20 October 2005. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Henderson, Simon (24 October 2005). "King Abdullah Recasts Saudi Intelligence". Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Prince Bandar gets 4 more years as National Security Council head". Saudi Gazette. Saudi Press Agency. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "King Abdullah approves National Security Council bylaws, appoints Prince Bandar secretary-general". Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington, DC. 16 October 2005. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Allegiance Council". APS Diplomat News Service. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2013.