Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz has named a new Crown Prince and Deputy Crown Prince as part of a string of royal decrees issued on Tuesday, which also saw the appointment of a new foreign minister.
Interior Minister Prince Mohammed Bin Naif was named Crown Prince, replacing former Crown Prince Muqrin Bin Abdulaziz. Prince Muqrin was relieved of his post “upon his request,” according to the state-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The new Crown Prince will also assume the post of deputy prime minister while keeping his Interior Ministry portfolio.
Defense Minister Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has now assumed the post of Deputy Crown Prince.
King Salman’s latest decrees mean that for the first time grandsons of the founder of the Kingdom, King Abdulaziz Al Saud, are in line to the throne.
Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Naif is King Salman’s nephew and the son of former Crown Prince Naif Bin Abdulaziz. Prince Mohammed Bin Naif has been widely praised for his counter-terrorism efforts.
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is the son of King Salman and has held the post of defense minister since January 23, 2015, when his father took to the throne. He had earlier served as special adviser to the Crown Prince’s office.
Saudi citizens will pledge their allegiance to the newly appointed Crown Prince and Deputy Crown Prince in a formal ceremony—known as the Baya’a—at the King’s palace in Riyadh on Wednesday, local media reported.
In addition to the changes in the Kingdom’s line of succession, King Salman named Adel Al-Jubeir as foreign minister, replacing Prince Saud Al-Faisal who stepped down for health reasons. Prince Saud Al-Faisal will, however, keep a role as a cabinet minister without portfolio and as adviser to the King, the SPA reported.
Other major ministerial changes saw Saudi Aramco chief Khalid Al-Falih being appointed Minister of Health, a position that has been empty since last month when former health minister Abdullah Al-Rabiah left the post. The new head of Saudi Aramco is yet to be named.
King Salman also appointed Labor Minister Adel Faqih as economy and planning minister, with Mufreh Al-Haqbani replacing him as labor minister.