FACTBOX-Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah

Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:28am GMT

Feb 23 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, the sixth king to rule one of the world's most conservative nations, returned home on Wednesday after three months abroad for medical treatment.

Here are some facts on Abdullah:


-- Abdullah launched an overhaul of state education and the judiciary when he was crown prince, both of which were dominated by puritanical Wahhabi clerics and their supporters.

-- His measures were aimed at attracting more foreign investors and giving Saudis skills applicable beyond the bloated public sector to prepare for the day the kingdom's vast mineral resources run out.

-- The social and economic reforms he started were to draw young Saudis away from radicalism, but Abdullah made no progress on political reform.

-- There is still no elected parliament and protests and political parties are banned.

-- In Feb. 2009, Abdullah removed two radical clerics from senior positions, but a few months later postponed for two years municipal elections in which women had hoped to participate for the first time.   Continued...

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