In dramatic move, Saudi King Salman elevates son to crown prince

In a dramatic but expected gesture, Saudi Arabia's 82-year-old King Salman on Wednesday named his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince. The new crown prince's predecessor, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, was removed from all his posts including interior minister, which is responsible for internal security and the war on terror in the country.
DEBKAfile: Mohammed bin Salman has accumulated significant influence within the Saudi royal family and in Washington during the past few years. The crown prince was the person who decided that his country would go to war in Yemen, and he is currently leading the campaign against Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE. The king's son is also actually in charge of his country's foreign affairs, defense and economic development, where he has instituted reforms. Mohammad bin Salman has very close ties with the US, especially with President Donald Trump. He led the preparations for Trump's visit to his country in May and played a main role in arranging the US declaration of support for the Sunni coalition against Iran.
The crown prince's strong ties with senior Israeli political, military and intelligence figures are the basis for Trump's plan for building relations between Israel and moderate Arab states.

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