History of Saudi Arabia: King Fahad and the Gulf War

History of Saudi Arabia: King Fahad and the Gulf War Last updated on Saturday 24th April 2010

King Khalid died in June 1982 and was succeeded by Crown Prince Fahad bin Abdul Aziz.

King Fahad was well-versed in the arts of government as he had served as the country's first Minister of Education and as King Khalid had been in poor health for much of his reign, Fahad had ruled in all but name.

King Fahad's reign was marked by continuing development within the country and the infrastructure. On the political front, the open hostility from Iran toward Saudi Arabia led the government to strengthen its ties of defence with the USA, Britain and France.

Within days of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in late summer 1990, King Fahad allowed US troops into the Kingdom to defend the country. In November 1990, King Fahad announced that plans were being made for the formation of a Consultative Council; there was some feeling that this was done in response to criticism that he had not consulted widely enough before allowing foreign troops into the Kingdom. In any case, in March 1992, the King announced that the Consultative Council would be appointed by year's end and he also made its duties clear.

Like other such creations in the Gulf states, the Council is a purely consultative body with no legislative powers whatever. Its formation, however, simply puts an official stamp on the long-standing system of consultation which has long been a mark of Arab politics and society.

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