Saudi king changes crown prince, reformist in line for succession

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New Delhi: The King of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday declared his son Mohammed bin Salman as the Crown Prince , replacing his nephew Mohammed bin Nayef through a royal decree , which was approved by 31 out of 34 members of the Allegiance Council. 

The newly appointed 31 year old Crown Prince will become the Deputy Prime Minister while retaining his position as the Defence Minister. Mohammed bin Nayef , 57 year old has been relieved of his current duties and has pledged allegiance to the newly appointed Crown Prince.

Considered a reformist and popular amongst the youth , the newly appointed Crown Prince is also the favourite son of the King Salman , now 81 years of age. Mohammed Bin Salman was in charge of carrying out not only the war against Yemen but also following economic reformist policy of the oil rich country.

Observers are of the opinion that by appointing his son as the Crown Prince which also means next in the line of throne, the King has apparently avoided any tussle on the issue of succession between his son and the nephew. Since the age is on his side , experts believe that it may promote internal stability in the Saudi Kingdom.

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a congratulatory cable to King Salman.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also dispatched similar cables.

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