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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05RIYADH5352
2005-08-01 08:24:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Riyadh
Cable title:  

SAUDI KING FAHD DIES, ABDULLAH ASCENDS THE THRONE

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  SA 
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O 010824Z AUG 05
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8487
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L RIYADH 005352 


C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (PARA
1)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/01/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL SA
SUBJECT: SAUDI KING FAHD DIES, ABDULLAH ASCENDS THE THRONE



1. (U) Classified by Ambassador James Oberwetter. Reason 1.4
(B and D).



2. (C) The Royal Diwan announced on August 1 that Saudi King
Fahd bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud has died. The announcement was
read on Saudi state television at 10:00 AM Riyadh time.
According to our sources in the Royal Diwan, King Fahd passed
away at 9:00 PM on July 31. The King had suffered from
generally failing health over the last 10 years, after
experiencing a stroke in 1995. The announcement did not give
the immediate cause of death. However, King Fahd had been
hospitalized for the past two months and was reportedly
unconscious and able to breath only with the aid of a
respirator for at least the last several weeks. Fahd was
reported to be 83 years old at the time of is death.



3. (C) According to the public announcement, the burial will
take place tomorrow in the afternoon. The prayer service
will take place at the 'Asr prayer, at approximately 3:30 PM
tomorrow, August 2, in the Prince Turki Mosque in the old
city neighborhood of Riyadh. The late king will probably be
buried in Riyadh at the Al-Oud cemetery, although this has
not yet been announced.



4. (U) The Royal Diwan has also announced the ascension to
the throne of Prince Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud,
formerly Crown Prince. In the same statement, the Diwan
announced that the members of the Royal Family had sworn the
oath of allegiance (Arabic: "bay'a") to Abdullah in his
capacity as the new king. Subsequently, King Abdullah named
Prince Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, formerly Second Deputy
Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, as the new Crown
Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister.



5. (C) No announcement regarding the position of Second
Deputy Prime Minister has been made, nor did the announcement
provide any information about whether the new King and Crown
Prince have relinquished command of the SANG and the Ministry
of Defense, respectively.



6. (U) According to the Royal Diwan's statement, starting
on Wednesday after the noon day Dhuhr prayer, King Abdullah
and Crown Prince Sultan will receive oaths of allegiance from
Saudi citizens at the Government Palace building in the old
city neighborhood of Riyadh. It is anticipated that the new
king and Crown Prince will receive the citizens' "bay'a"
oaths of allegiance for two to three days, and that thousands
of citizens, including senior tribal shaykhs, military
officers, and government officials, will swear allegiance.


OBERWETTER