RIYADH, June 21 (SABAH): Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was promoted to crown prince on Wednesday.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef has been relieved of his post and replaced by Mohammed bin Salman who becomes deputy prime minister and retains his defense and other portfolios, a royal decree issued by the Saudi state agency said SPA.
Nayef has pledged allegiance to the kingdom’s new crown prince, Saudi state television reported.
Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, for years the kingdom’s counter-terrorism chief who put down an al-Qaeda campaign of bombings in 2003-6, is relieved of all positions, the decree 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 spearheading plans for the kingdom to build an economic 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. 31 out of 34 members of the Allegiance Council has appointed Muhammad bin Salman as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Muhammad bin Salman is just 31 years old.