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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2340

Mohammed bin Salman Newly Appointed Heir to Saudi Kingdom

Riyadh, 21 June, (Asiantribune.com):

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has appointed his son, Mohammed bin Salman, as heir, in a major reshuffle announced early on Wednesday.

A royal decree relieved Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a 57-year-old nephew of the king, as next-in-line to the throne and replaced him with Mohammed bin Salman, 31, who was previously the deputy crown prince.

According to the official Saudi Press Agency, the newly-announced crown prince was also named deputy prime minister and maintained his post as defence minister.

Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, for years the kingdom's counter-terrorism chief who put down an al Qaeda campaign of bombings in 2003-06, is relieved of all positions, it said.

Even as deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman has been responsible for running Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, dictating an energy policy with global implications and behind the plans for the kingdom to build a future after oil.

Al Arabiya television reported that the promotion of the prince was approved by the kingdom's Allegiance Council, and that the king had called for a public pledging of loyalty to Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday evening in Mecca.

The surprise announcement follows 2-1/2 years of already major changes in Saudi Arabia, which stunned allies in 2015 by launching a war in Yemen, cutting old energy subsidies and in 2016 proposing partly privatizing state oil company Aramco.

- Asian Tribune –

File photo shows King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud (L) speaks with his son Prince Mohammed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)
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