Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince: The man who will be king

A royal decree said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a counter-terrorism chief admired in Washington for putting down an Al-Qaeda campaign of bombings in 2003-06, was relieved of all positions and replaced by Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) who becomes deputy prime minister and retains defense, oil and other portfolios, Reuters reported.

The newly appointed crown prince created a reform blueprint, called Vision 2030, to develop non-oil revenues, privatise the economy and create sustainable development for Saudi Arabia.

The statement also expressed hopes "brotherly relations between the two brotherly countries".

Although Mohammed bin Salman's promotion to crown prince had always been expected among those who follow the royal family closely, the timing was a surprise, and puts the kingdom's future in relatively untested hands.

The Crown Prince further accompanied al-Bashir to Jeddah Airport as he ended his four-day to Saudi Arabia. He had previously been in charge of his father's royal court when Salman was the crown prince.

Bin Salman is known to be close to US President ##Donald Trump since he was the first Arab ruler to visit the American President at the White House. So, the Saudi king chose to side-line him by promoting bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia got involved in the Syrian civil war as a fierce opponent of the Syrian regime.

Apart from his role in the Saudi energy policy and economic initiatives to build a future for the monarchy after oil, Mohammed bin Salman is leading the Saudi war on impoverished Yemen.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday that the USA was "mystified" that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have failed to present details justifying their embargo on Qatar.

He tweeted that he'd told the kings, presidents and prime ministers he met in Saudi Arabia that funding "Radical Ideology" can't be tolerated, and "Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!"

Croft said on CNBC on Wednesday that, "This is a big generational shift in Saudi Arabia".

Those remarks raised alarm in Iran and helped fuel the widespread belief there that the Saudis were behind recent terrorist attacks in Tehran that were claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

- Iran, Saudi Arabia's main rival for regional influence, has called Prince Mohammed's appointment a soft coup.

He ordered the reinstatement of all civil service benefits cut as part of an austerity package earlier this year.He also extended the Eid Al-Fitr holidays until July 9 for all public sector employees.As deputy crown prince, the new heir to the throne already held multiple posts.

Saudi Arabia's stock market was up by more than 3.5 per cent in midday trading after the appointment.

  • Zachary Reyes