Saudi Arabia

A forceful Prince takes charge in a country the West counts on for constant support

Forgive yourself if you didn't know that Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud spent six days in Washington last week. Apart from Beltway commuters who encountered his 50-car motorcade and a handful of Foggy Bottom specialists, few noticed that Saudi Arabia's virtual ruler had come and gone. The low-profile trip generated scarcely a headline, the way the cautious Saudis prefer it. But this was no ordinary visit. It was the third leg of a monthlong coming-out tour of major world capitals to deliver an important if understated message: after three years of uncertainty in the kingdom, marked by terrorist...

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