Saudi king appoints nephew as new crown prince

Riyadh: Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has appointed his nephew deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as the new crown prince, the state media reported on Wednesday.

The announced was made after current Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud stepped down, Saudi state TV Al Arabiya reported.

Prince Mohammed would also be deputy prime minister and continue to hold his position of interior minister and head of the political and security council.

A royal decree aired on state TV announced that Mohammed bin Nayef, who was also the kingdom's interior minister and widely known as Saudi Arabia's counterterrorism czar, will replace Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz who had requested to step down.

Muqrin, who was appointed as the Crown Prince in January following the death of then Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has also been relieved of his position as deputy prime minister.

In 2014, he was named as second-in-line to the Saudi throne in a royal decree that confirmed him as the successor to then Crown Prince Salman, who is now the Saudi king.

Muqrin, the youngest son of Saudi Arabia's founder King Abdulaziz al-Saud, was born in 1945 and occupied several senior positions in the kingdom, including special advisor to late King Abdullah.

Besides those changes, the Saudi king appointed his son Prince Mohammed bin Salman as deputy crown prince. He will also keep his position as minister of defence and head of the economic and development council.

The development comes amid a series of reshuffle across the kingdom's cabinet, which also saw the appointment of current Ambassador to the US Adel Al Jubeir as the new foreign minister.

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