KSA has new Crown Prince

KSA has new Crown Prince

KSA has new Crown Prince

"Instead we will work so that the battle is for them in Iran, not in Saudi Arabia", Mohammed bin Salman told a reporter from the Saudi network MBC.

This week, however, was different as King Salman upended the succession to the throne and promoted his son, Mohammed bin Salman, to crown prince, extending the 31-year-old's meteoric rise.

He also relieved Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, 57, from his position as the deputy prime minister and interior minister.

The newly appointed crown prince created a reform blueprint, called Vision 2030, to develop non-oil revenues, privatise the economy and create sustainable development for Saudi Arabia.

Financial analysts said the change gave further assurance that key parts of radical reforms to diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil would continue.

Although Mohammed bin Salman's promotion was expected among close circles it came as a surprise at a time the kingdom is facing escalating tensions with Qatar and Iran and is locked in an air war in Yemen.

Iran, Saudi Arabia's main rival for regional influence, called Prince Mohammed's appointment a "soft coup".

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Mohammed is also defence minister with overall responsibility for the kingdom's military intervention in Yemen.

Apart from his role in the Saudi energy policy and economic initiatives to build a future for the monarchy after oil, Mohammed bin Salman is leading the Saudi war on impoverished Yemen. Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud, 33, was named the new interior minister to oversee counterterrorism efforts and domestic security. In spite of this, six kings since the death of the first Saudi monarch in 1953 have been his sons, including the current King Salman.

The whistleblower has already leaked documents indicating high-level corruption inside the Saudi royal family.

A royal order said his appointment was endorsed by 31 of 34 members on the Council of Allegiance, which decides on succession issues. MBS is shown kissing his older cousin's hand and kneeling before him; the outgoing crown prince is heard telling him: "I will rest now, and God help you".

Mohammed bin Nayef had strong personal support from the security forces and intelligence apparatus, said Jane Kinninmont, a Middle East expert at Chatham House. Saudi Arabia has typically been ruled by kings in their 70s or 80s. In an apparent attempt to appease the family, the decree had a clause that made it clear that Prince Mohammed bin Salman will not be allowed to appoint one of his own sons as his successor.

According to BBC, Prince Salman's rapid ascent is seen by the younger generation as a sign that things are changing.

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