Saudi Arabia 2005

Asia

Yearbook 2005

Saudi Arabia. According to countryaah, Riyadh is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Saudi Arabia. King Fahd died on August 1 and was immediately succeeded by his half-brother, 82-year-old Crown Prince Abdullah, who in effect ruled the country since King Fahd suffered a brain haemorrhage in 1995. New Crown Prince became Fahd’s brother, Prince Sultan. The change of throne went quickly and smoothly.

Moderate Islamists took most of the seats in the local elections, which were conducted in three rounds in February – April. The election was, until now, the most concrete result of the attempts at democratic reform made by the regime. But the local assemblies had only limited power and only half of the members were democratically elected. Women were not allowed to vote and were not eligible. The turnout was very low; In the first round of voting, 11% of voters voted.

In May, three liberal intellectuals were sentenced to between six and nine years in prison for demanding that general elections be held and a constitution established in 2004. The three were pardoned by King Abdullah as soon as he assumed the throne.

Police killed a number of people during the year, including several Moroccans, who were accused of belonging to the Saudi branch of the al-Qaeda terror network.

In November, the World Trade Organization (WTO) approved Saudi Arabia as a member after twelve years of negotiations. However, the membership meant that Saudi Arabia would now be forced to liberalize its economy and cease its boycott of Israel.

Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent Gulf crisis made Saudi Arabia’s political, military and military dependence clearer, and it served as a catalyst for political reform in the country.

In 1992, King Fahd officially appointed his brother Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz al-Saud to the throne. Human rights organizations, including Throughout 1993, Amnesty International expressed their deep concern over the arbitrary arrests of not only Christians and Shi’ites, but also of Sunnis.

In May 1994, King Fahd announced in his financial plan the intention to undertake extensive privatizations of state-owned enterprises, such as the the carrier and telephone company. A modest rise in oil prices in 1995 prompted the King to introduce substantial cuts in government spending; this led to savings in the education sector of around 20%.

Acc. several observers, the severe social inequalities have exacerbated the internal tensions between the Saudis, who are otherwise considered privileged by the millions of foreign workers living in the country. An attack in November against a riyadh used by North American experts, which killed at least six people, was also interpreted as an example of these internal tensions.

King Fahd’s illness worsened at the end of 1995, and he was forced to temporarily retire from the political scene until mid-1996. against the North American base in El Khobar, on June 25, 1996. A 2200-kilogram bomb left 19 soldiers dead and hundreds wounded. The United States strengthened its security systems and demanded a comprehensive investigation to find the culprits, fearing the escalation of violence.

That same year, Saudi Arabia distinguished itself as one of the world’s largest arms buyers. Internally, the internal power struggles in the royal family continue to become the successor of the seventy-year-old king, at the same time as the social crisis has led to a radicalization of the Islamic groups hostile to Fahd’s pro-American politics. In 1997, tensions between Washington and Baghdad weakened relations with the United States. Saudi Arabia warned Bill Clinton that the hard line he was taking toward Iraq, in contrast to the moderate course of action in Israel, could excite the Arab population of the region. At the end of the same year, more than 2,000 illegal immigrants were expelled. A significant change in migration policy.

Since 1930, there has been a border dispute with Yemen, and this conflict broke out again when Yemenites were expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1999. In December, the Yemeni authorities called for a solution to the discrepancies, but a week later, Riyadh expelled another 300 Yemenites for “violating emigration regulations”.

Country data

Area: 2,240,000 km2 (world ranking: 12)

Population: 32,938,000

Population density: 15 per km2 (as of 2017, world ranking: 41)

Capital: Ar-Riyadh (Riyadh)

Official languages: Arabic

Gross domestic product: 683.8 billion US $; Real growth: -0.7%

Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 20,080 US$

Currency: 1 Saudi Riyal (S.Rl.) = 100 Halalah

Embassy

Tiergartenstr. 33
34, 10785 Berlin
Telephone 030 898892500,
Fax 030 88925179 embassies.mofa.gov.sa/sites/Germany

Government
Head of State and Government: Salman bin Abdelasis Al Sa’ud, Exterior: Adel al-Jubeir

National holiday: 23.9. (Unification Day)

Administrative division
13 regions with 118 districts; also neutral zones: 5770 km2 to Kuwait, administrative division since 1966, joint use of oil deposits; 7044 km2 to Iraq, demilitarized and uninhabited

State and form of government
Basic law of 1992
Absolute monarchy
State religion: Islam
Islamic law (Sharia)
King nominally also spiritual head (guardian of the holy places)
No parliament; Consultative council (Majlis asch-Shura) with 150 members appointed by the king for 4 years (30 seats reserved for women)
Suffrage (local elections) from 21 years of age.

Population: Saudi Arabians, last census 2010: 26,090,555 residents.
74% Saudi Arabians; 26% foreigners mainly from Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Pakistan, India, Philippines, Indonesia

Cities (with population): (as of 2010) Ar-Riyadh (Riyadh) 5,188,286 residents, Jiddah (Jeddah) 3,430,697, Makkah (Mecca) 1,534,731, Al-Madinah (Medina) 1,100,093, Ad-Dammam 903,312, At-Ta’if (Taif) 579,970

Religions: 98% Muslims, above all Sunni (ruling house follows Wahabi direction), in the east Shiites; Christians and Hindus (foreign workers) (as of 2006)

Languages: Arabic

Employees by economic sector: Agriculture. 6%, industry 23%, business 71% (2017)

Unemployment (in% of all economically active persons)
2017: 5.5%

Inflation rate (in%): 2017: -0.9%

Foreign trade: Import: 130.8 billion US $ (2017); Export: US $ 218.2 billion (2017)