King Salman of Saudi Arabia has named his son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as crown prince of Saudi Arabia, deposing his cousin Prince Mohammed bin Naif.
The move makes Prince Mohammed next-in-line to be king.
As Reuters and other news outlets are reporting, the promotion of the new Crown Prince is less surprising than the timing of the announcement. “A favorite son of his elderly father, [Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s] youth and dynamism have also appealed to many younger Saudis, who constitute the biggest proportion of society and are often eager for change.”
The decree “brings to an end the career of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who served as interior minister and was widely respected by Saudis and their foreign allies for dismantling Al Qaeda’s networks inside the kingdom,” writes Ben Hubbard in the New York Times.
Mohammed bin Salman was chosen as crown prince by 31 out of 34 members of the Allegiance Council during a meeting at Al-Safa Palace in Makkah in the early hours of Wednesday, according to Arab News.
The royal decrees also named Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif as the new Minister of Interior. Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud is 33 years old. Unlike Prince Mohammed bin Naif, he did not attend school in the west, and worked in the private sector in Saudi Arabia before his appointment. The prince served as a member of several committees in Saudi Arabia, and was “working in the Political Division for six months then as an advisor in the Office of the Minister of Defense before the royal decree was issued,” according to a biography from Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya.
The announcement also includes other appointments to top positions in the government. New advisors to the Royal Court are:
-Abdul Rahman bin Ali Rubaiaan
-Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al-Dawoud
-Bandar bin Khalid bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud
-Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud
-Faisal bin Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sudairy (with excellent rank)
Other changes include:
-Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Salem, as deputy interior minister with the rank of minister
-Prince Bandar bin Faisal bin Bandar, as assistant to the president of the general intelligence
-Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz, as vice chairman of the General Authority for Sport Management
-Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz, as deputy to the emir of Al-Jouf.
-Prince Faisal bin Sattam bin Abdulaziz, as Ambassador to Italy
-Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, as Ambassador to Germany.