Saudi king names new heir to throne
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday named his powerful interior minister as heir in a generational shift that also saw one of his sons promoted to second in line to the throne.
A royal decree removed Crown Prince Moqren bin Abdul Aziz bin Saud, 69, as heir and replaced him with Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, who led a crackdown on al-Qaida in the oil-rich kingdom a decade ago.
Riyadh also changed its foreign min- ister in the second major government shakeup since King Salman inherited power in January.
The announcement comes a day after Saudi Arabia said it arrested 93 jihadists since the end of 2014, most of them linked to the Islamic State group, and had foiled several plots to carry out attacks across the kingdom.
Accentuating the move to a more youthful leadership, Salman, 79, also promoted one of his sons, Mohammed bin Salman, to be deputy crown prince.
It was the first time a crown prince was relieved of his duty in the kingdom’s history.
Moqren’s removal leaves Mohammed bin Nayef as the first of the second generation, or grandsons of Abdul Aziz, in line to lead the conservative Islamic kingdom.
Mohammed bin Nayef’s appointment further solidifies control of Salman’s Sudayri branch of the royal family. Their influence had waned under Abdullah.
Moqren had no ministerial portfolio and his replacement is not much of a surprise, the diplomatic source said.