Saudi King Abdulla bin Abdul Aziz has been named among the 10 most powerful leaders of the world in 2013 by Forbes magazine.
“With 50% of its population under 25, and more than a quarter of those youths out of work, the king has pushed $130 billion at unemployment funds and housing projects in recent years,” Forbes said in a profile explaining why the king has earned his ranking.
The king who was ranked member eight in the world was only the figure from the region that made it in the top 10.
He also came ahead of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who ranked 11th and French President and French President Francois Hollande, 18th.
Meanwhile, for the first time since three years Barack Obama didn’t win the title as the world’s most powerful leader, but has dropped to second place.
Obama was topped by Russia’s Vladimir Putin on the magazine’s list as U.S.-Russia relations slid to a new low.
In March 2012, Putin was elected again as president, continuing his 13 years of dominant rule over Russia.
Putin was seen to have outperformed Obama in international politics, especially on the crisis in Syria.
Putin succeeded to avert a U.S. military strike on Syria by convincing his ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up his chemical weapons.
Obama was largely criticized at home and abroad for lacking vision in dealing with Syria and its foreign allies in general, especially after it recently emerged that the United States is spying on European countries.
In the third place of Forbes list comes the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is expected to rule for a decade in which China is set to eclipse the U.S. as the world’s largest economy.
Pope Francis made his debut at number four and German Chancellor Angela Merkel rounded out the top five.
Source: Al Arabiya