PM Nawaz felicitates new Saudi Crown Prince

Saudi king upends royal succession, names son as 1st heir

Washington D.C. [United States], June 22: United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday called Saudi Arabia's new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to congratulate him on his recent elevation and discussed ways to resolve the ongoing dispute in the gulf region.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ordained his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince on Wednesday.

But it may not just be Iran that has doubts about the new crown prince - many in Washington knew and respected Mohammed bin Nayef as he had helped lead Saudi Arabia's campaign against Al Qaeda for years.

Mohammed bin Salman, who will take on Nayef's old job as interior minister, was relatively unknown in the kingdom when his father came to power 2 1/2 years ago.

The young prince has been spearheading a sweeping economic and social reform programme for the kingdom, with his rise coming at a crucial time for Saudi Arabia which is in a battle with archrival Iran, fighting for legitimacy in Yemen and at loggerheads with fellow US Gulf ally Qatar.

Saudi boys pose in front of a huge billboard showing in the centre, King Salman, with Mohammed bin Salman to the right, and the replaced Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, left, in Taif, Saudi Arabia.

Iran at the time called the remarks a direct threat, and after a deadly June 7 terrorist attack in Tehran Iranian officials suggested that Saudi Arabia was implicated.

Analysts said the change ends uncertainty over succession and empowers Prince Mohammed bin Salman to move faster with his plan to reduce the kingdom's dependance on oil, which includes the partial privatisation of state oil company Aramco. A high-profile role in managing the entire kingdom is captured by bin Salman and he has the mission to transform the economy.

"We hope the list of demands will soon be presented to Qatar and will be reasonable and actionable", US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, in a statement. Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud, 33, was named the new interior minister to oversee counterterrorism efforts and domestic security.

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

"And we support Amir Mohammed bin Salman, his son, to become Minister of Defence and Prime Minister and to be nominated as successor".

Saudi Arabia's intervention in Yemen in March 2015 signalled a more aggressive foreign policy, emphasised again this month when the kingdom and its allies imposed an embargo on neighbouring Qatar.



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