King Salman appoints Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday named his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince, placing him firmly as first-in-line to the throne and shifting the country’s counterterrorism czar and a figure well-known to Washington from the royal line of succession. In a series of royal decrees carried on the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the monarch stripped Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who had been positioned to heir the throne, from his name as crown prince and from his powerful position as the country’s interior minister overseeing security.
The newly declared Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman already oversees a vast portfolio as defense minister and head of an economic council tasked with overhauling the country’s economy. He had previously been the second-in-line to the throne as deputy crown prince, though royal watchers had long suspected his rise to power under his father’s reign might also accelerate his ascension to the throne.
The young prince was little known to Saudis and outsiders before Salman became king in January 2015. He had previously been in charge of his father’s royal court when Salman was the crown prince.