The Hugh Leach Memorial Lecture
His Royal Highness Prince Turki Alfaisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 22 September 2021
Prince Turki was Director of the General Intelligence Directorate of Saudi Arabia from 1977 to 2001. Afghanistan dominated his work for twenty years. The Soviet invasion, war between the mujahideen factions and the rule of the Taliban killed millions, made refugees of millions more, destroyed the Afghan economy, de-skilled the country, destroyed its capacity for effective self-government and fed new and destabilising forces in the region. Prince Turki is uniquely equipped to illuminate the era and Saudi Arabia’s role in it. In 2019 he was awarded Afghanistan’s highest honour, the Ghazi Mir Bacha Khan Medal.
Prince Turki was Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland 2003-2005 and to the United States 2005-2006. He is Founder and Trustee of the King Faisal Foundation and Chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS). The RSAA is honoured to acknowledge the collaboration and support of the KFCRIS and Arabian Publishing in presenting this event.
Hugh Leach devoted much of his life to understanding the Arabian peninsula and Afghanistan, and it therefore particularly fitting that these two elements are brought together in this memorial lecture.