Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman appointed Crown Prince: SPA

He had established a high-trust relationship with USA officials well before the September 11 attacks and was regarded as the most pro-American figure of the Saudi leadership.

"He could be there for 50 years", said Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. Saudi Arabia is a key driver of an OPEC deal with non OPEC producers, like Russian Federation, to curb production in an effort to end a supply glut and drive prices higher.

According to Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, Saudi Arabia is "absolutely committed" to sticking to the OPEC deal regardless of the succession shuffle.

Now he also assumes the role of Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman made his son Mohammed bin Salman next in line to the throne on Wednesday as the Kingdom seeks to transform economy by 2030 and reduce the country's reliance on oil revenue. Since the removal of King Saud in 1964, orderly successions passed along the sons of the kingdom's founder, Abdulaziz. Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud, 33, was named the new interior minister tasked with counterterrorism efforts and domestic security.

Lacroix said that among the thousands-strong royal family there does not seem to be much opposition to Mohammed bin Salman's appointment, which has concentrated power in one man. The Council is comprised of senior princes who gather in secret and vote to pick the king and crown prince from among themselves.

The king accompanied his son's elevation with measures to woo the many Saudis who work for the government, either as civilian or military personnel. The present King Salman is 81 years old and might retire soon due to health reasons. The 31-year-old is now next in line to the throne.

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani from Qatar has already congratulated Prince Mohammed, in a conciliatory gesture to Riyadh after it joined other Arab states in imposing sanctions on Qatar over its alleged support for terrorism.

The visit of bin Salman earlier this year make a way for the United States President Donald Trump trip to the Saudi Arabia. "She also noted that the prince, known as MBS, launched what he has turned out to be a costly war in Yemen and headed up the surprise blockade of Qatar". He was also very outspoken in the media about his country's fight against extremists, so much so that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) saw him as their "most important interlocutor". Noteworhty, Iran, which is predominantly Shi'ite Muslim, and Saudi Arabia, which is mostly Sunni, compete for power and influence across the region.

  • Zachary Reyes