Order of Abdulaziz al Saud
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|Order of King Abdulaziz|
|Insignia of the Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud
Star of the Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud
|Awarded by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia|
|Type||order of merit with 5 degrees|
|Established||20 March 1971|
|Next (higher)||Great Chain of Badr|
|Next (lower)||Order of King Faysal|
|Ribbon bar of the Order of King Abdulaziz Al Saud|
In 1971, the introduction of orders was announced in a decree. It was instituted by King Faisal on 20 March 1971. However, the order had been awarded before that date unsystematically. These earliest versions were produced by Bichay in Cairo, Egypt. The early version of the order was called Great Chain of Badr. The Saudi king, Fons honorum of the orders, confirmed the decree in his Royal decree.
The Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud
The collar is regarded as a separate order. It also confers the highest rank in the Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud, and, unlike the Great Chain of Badr, is awarded to non-Muslim heads of state.
The Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud
The order is awarded to citizens of Saudi Arabia and foreigners for meritorious service to the Kingdom. The Council of Ministers makes the nominations but the King makes awards to foreigners himself when he finds this appropriate. Saudi recipients are always included in the fourth degree of the order and can subsequently be promoted.
The number of Saudi conferments is limited and awardees have to start their career in the order in the lowest 4th class. A member can be promoted every five years. Those rules do not apply for ministers and appointees for bravery, who can be awarded in a higher class instead.
The statutes of the order stipulate a limit on the number of inductees each year—20 grand sashes of the distinguished class, and 40, 60, 80 and 100 members of subsequently the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th class.
The Classes include:
- Special Class (comparable with Grand Cordon). A sash with pendant is worn on the right shoulder, plus a star on the left chest;
- Distinguished First Class (comparable with "Grand Officer"). The insignia is worn on a necklet, plus a golden star on the left chest;
- First Class (comparable with "Commander 1st Class"). The insignia is worn on a necklet, plus a silver star on the left chest;
- Second Class (comparable with "Commander"). The insignia is worn on a necklet;
- Third Class (comparable with "Officer"). A badge is worn on a ribbon with a rosette on the left chest;
- Fourth Class (comparable with "Knight"). A badge is worn on a ribbon on the left chest.
The Saudis avoid the words like "cross" (as in "Grand-Cross") and "knight".
The order is sometimes referred to as the:
- King Abdulaziz Order of Merit
- King Abdulaziz Al Saud Excellence Medal
- King Abdulaziz Medal
- Al Waleed bin Talal Al Saud – King Abdulaziz Medal (First Class; 2002)
- Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud
- Fahd bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saud
- Khalid bin Bandar Al Saud (2011)
- Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – King Abdulaziz medal (First Class)
- Sara bint Faisal bin Abdulaziz – King Abdulaziz Medal (First Class; 2013)
- Sattam bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – King Abdulaziz medal (First Class)
- Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – King Abdulaziz medal (First Class)
- Turki bin Nasser Al Saud – King Abdulaziz Medal (First Class)
- Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud– King Abdulaziz Sash (Special Class; 1976)
Politicians and officials
- Narendra Modi – Prime Minister of India, Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud (Special Class, 3 April 2016)
- Shinzō Abe – Prime Minister of Japan, Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud (Special Class)
- Silvio Berlusconi – former prime minister of Italy, Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud (First Class; 22 November 2009)
- David Cameron – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- Mohammad Al Jasser – Saudi minister, medal of King Abdulaziz (First Class)
- George W. Bush – Former U.S. President, medal of King Abdulaziz (First Class; 2008)
- Barack Obama – U.S. President, Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud (2009)
- Vladimir Putin - President of Russia (2007)
- Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah – Kuwaiti royal and politician, medal of King Abdulaziz (First Class)
- Najib Tun Razak – Malaysia Prime Minister, medal of King Abdulaziz (First Class, Jan 19, 2010)
- Abdel Fattah el-Sisi – Egyptian President, medal of King Abdulaziz (First Class; August 2014)
- Joko Widodo - Indonesian President, medal of King Abdulaziz (Third Class, September 2015)
- Xi Jinping - President of the People's Republic of China, medal of King Abdulaziz (2016)
- Tariq Majid – Pakistan's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (2009)
- Pervez Musharraf – Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff
- Raheel Sharif – Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff
- Ali Shamkhani – Former Minister of Defence of Iran
- Sir Alan William John West – Chief of British naval staff, (2004) medal of King Abdulaziz (First Class)
- Katsutoshi Kawano – Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, (February, 2014)
- Stephane Abrial – former SACT
- Denis Mercier – former Chief of Staff of the French Air Force
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