Saudi policy: erratic

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Saudi Arabia abandoned as long ago as the assassination of King Faisal in 1975 the Arabian tradition that the ruler or Shaikh is chosen by the ruling family as the man most likely to be effective, in favour of semi-automatic succession by the numerous sons of King Abd al-Aziz, known to the world as Ibn Saud. The formation of the Allegiance Council in 2007, presumably intended to break this pattern, proved ineffective. As a result they now have a sick king who is at least 90 and a …