A new Saudi King, sort of…
Here is a BBC overview of the transition in Saudi Arabia and many of the issues facing the new monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. He was already making most of the decisions before Abdullah’s death, just as Abdullah had stood in for King Fahd before him. And, its unlikely we will see any radical changes in Saudi policy under the new leader. In fact, everything has been pretty much seamless so far. The Saudi ruling family, the al Saud, is a complex institution with multiple lineages tracing back to the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, ibn Saud. Succession is therefore not always a straightforward affair. But there has been no public quarrels and everything apparently settled before Abdullah passed. The next change may be less orderly with a new generation of al Saud poised to take power. Still, while the transition may have been smooth (so far) nothing is smooth for the Saudis in the region. Trends in Syria, Iraq and Yemen are going against the Saudi interest and its arch rival, Iran, is making gains regionally and with the west. It’s not as bad as taking over the Toronto Maple Leafs, but it is a tough job none the less.
Profile: King Salman of Saudi Arabia http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30945925
Saudi: Turbulent times for new King Salman http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30949483