The ideological and economic leader of the Arab world, Saudi Arabia wields influence far beyond its region. The world's largest oil exporter dictates the global price of crude more than any other nation. It has used its wealth to spread Salafist Islam across Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. It — along with the CIA — financed the mujahideen that defeated the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Today, it's fighting military wars in Yemen and economic ones against Qatar, effectively led by a prince who is also trying to modernize the country.
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More from Saudi Arabia
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman fears the old generation of Saudi Islamists … so he’s killing them.
- Fast Forward
Saudi influence in the liberal Muslim nation is growing and sparking concerns over the potential for Islamic fundamentalism.
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The tiny Gulf nation is turning soccer into a successful vehicle to defeat its regional enemies on and off the pitch.
Royals first tried to hide their murders — and then a documentary about them.
- Fast Forward
Mohammed bin Salman’s domestic legacy may hinge on whether a radical jobs reform project works.
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