Prince Mohammad Bin Salman declared crown prince

Aaron Brown
June 28, 2017

"We look forward to continuing our work with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in his new role to defeat terrorism and improve our mutual security, stability, and prosperity", Nauert stated.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman made his son his successor on Wednesday, removing his nephew as crown prince and giving the 31-year old nearly unprecedented powers as the world's leading oil exporter implements transformational reforms.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has welcomed the appointment of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.

Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, meanwhile, congratulated Saudi Arabia's newly-appointed crown prince, urging "brotherly relations" between the two countries.

His replacement by his nephew sidelines Prince Mohammed but keeps the security file in the hands of the Nayef branch of the Al Saud family, which is likely to reassure other royals as power is increasingly consolidated by King Salman and his son. Chief among them will be ensuring that the economic reform plans, including a public offering of the state oil company and private sector growth, will be introduced as smoothly as possible at a time of low energy prices.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran - already running high - could worsen with King Salman's designation of his aggressive and ambitious son, Muhammad bin Salman, as the next ruler, analysts say.

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Even as deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman had been amassing powers ever since his father took the throne.

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

On Wednesday, a well-known Saudi online activist, known on Twitter as @mujtahidd, predicted that King Salman would abdicate in favor of his son.

The prince is now set to become the first Saudi monarch from a generation of royals who represent the grandsons of the country's founder, King Abdul-Aziz.

The reasons for the demotions are unclear, but bin Nayef is viewed as being close to the rulers of Qatar, and Saudi Arabia is now leading a campaign to isolate and punish Qatar for its alleged support for extremists and for Riyadh's nemesis, the regime in Tehran. Wednesday's decrees removed him both from his place as next in line to the throne and from his post as interior minister.

Tadawul and Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority, the regulator, have made a series of reforms as part of efforts by the kingdom to broaden its investment base and diversify the economy.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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