Dossier

King Fahd

By Sehrish Shaban
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Monday, August 1, 2005; 10:39 AM

Title: King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (King of Saudi Arabia)

Born: In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; believed to be 83

Died: Aug. 1, 2005

Known for

He held his country together and preserved his family's rule in an era of immense pressures both domestic and external. During this tenuous time, he succeeded in strengthening ties between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Officially referred to as "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" in Mecca and Medina, Fahd was also considered a protector of the faith.

Career Timeline

  • Educated in one of Saudi Arabia's first educational institutions.
  • 1945: Member of Saudi delegation to the signing of the United Nations charter in San Francisco.
  • 1953: Became his nation's first minister of education, and under his leadership the ministry laid the foundation for a nationwide school system. He also represented Saudi Arabia at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth.
  • 1962: Appointed minister of interior.
  • 1967: Assumed the position of second deputy prime minister.
  • 1970: Led Saudi delegation in talks with British leaders to discuss the future of the Arabian Gulf.
  • 1974: First official visit to Washington; met with President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; established Saudi Arabian-U.S. Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation.
  • 1975: Became crown prince of Saudi Arabia and deputy prime minister.
  • 1981: Proposed an innovative eight-point peace plan to resolve Arab-Israeli conflict.
  • June 13, 1982: Proclaimed fifth king of Saudi Arabia, succeeding King Khalid; League of Arab States unanimously adopts eight-point peace plan.
  • 1985: Made first state visit as King to Washington; conferred with President Ronald Reagan and his Cabinet in February.
  • 1986: Welcomed Vice President George Bush to Riyadh; inaugurated King Fahd Causeway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
  • 1988: Signed nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; initiated diplomatic efforts to end Iraq-Iran War.
  • 1990: Signed border demarcation accord with Oman; sent 1 million copies of the Koran, the first shipment of the holy book to the Soviet Union, for distribution among Muslims; condemned Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and helped put together a coalition of forces to end the aggression; hosted President George Bush in Saudi Arabia.
  • 1991: Visited Kuwait after its liberation from Iraqi occupation.
  • 1992: Announced new bylaws for basic system of government, provincial system and Majlis Al-Shoura (Consultative Council).
  • 1993: Hosted meeting of Afghan leaders in Mecca for signing of national reconciliation accord.
  • 1994: Completed expansion projects of holy mosques in Mecca and Medina; donated funds for restoration of Islam's third holiest shrine and two other mosques in Jerusalem; met with President Bill Clinton in Saudi Arabia.

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