Saudi king names counterterrorism czar as new crown prince

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Mohammed Bin Nayef Named New Saudi Crown Prince


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Wednesday removed his half-brother from the post of crown prince and named his nephew, the country's Interior Minister, in his place.

The post of crown prince secures Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as the most likely successor to King Salman. He is widely known internationally as Saudi Arabia's counterterrorism czar and was previously deputy crown prince. He takes over the post of crown prince from Prince Muqrin.

The royal decree also announced that the king's son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been appointed deputy crown prince. He is believed to be around 30 years old and is also the country's defense minister. As deputy crown prince, the prince is essentially seen as being second in line to the throne.

Also in the reshuffle, longtime Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal was replaced wtih Adel al-Jubeir, the kingdom's current ambassador to the U.S.

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Saudi Arabia's new leader: King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
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Saudi king names counterterrorism czar as new crown prince
FILE - In this April 16, 2015 file photo, images of Saudi King Salman, left, then Crown Prince Muqrin, center, and then Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef are displayed on a shop door at the al Aqeeliya market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Wednesday removed his half-brother from the post of crown prince and named his nephew, the country's Interior Minister, in his place. The post of crown prince secures Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as the most likely successor to King Salman. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)
Saudi Arabia'a Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud meets with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, not pictured, at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, April 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Saudi Interior Minister Prince Mohamed bin Nayef Al Saud participates in a Gulf Cooperation Council interior ministers gathering to discuss security issues in Manama, Bahrain, on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
Bahraini Interior Minister Sheik Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, left, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef, center, and Kuwaiti Interior Minister Mohammed Khalid Al Sabah, right, walk to a meeting Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2001, in Manama, Bahrain in which ministers from Gulf nations sought to coordinate efforts to combat terrorism. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef, right, talks to reporters at the end of a twoday meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council in Manama, Bahrain, Oct. 30, 2001. At left is Bahraini Interior Minister Sheik Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa. Interior ministers from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates agreed Tuesday to swap information and increase efforts to combat terrorism, including eliminating funding sources for terrorism organizations.(AP Photo/Ali Fraidoon)
Saudi new King Salman (C) speaks with Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef (L) as they walk to greet US President Barack Obama (unseen) and First Lady Michelle Obama (unseen) at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on January 27, 2015. Obama landed in Saudi Arabia to shore up ties with new King Salman and offer condolences after the death of his predecessor Abdullah. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
In this Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, photo released by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, right, shakes hands with U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A delegation of U.S. senators led by McCain have met separately with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman and Qatar's emir, part of a regional tour focused on training Syrian rebels. As they met, hundreds of civilians fled rebel-held areas near Damascus that had been blockaded for over a year. (AP Photo/SPA)
In this photo released by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Arabia's Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, right, shakes hands with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/SPA)
In this photo released by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Arabia's Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, right, walks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/SPA)
FILE - In this file photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, from left, Kuwait's Emir Sheik Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah and Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa walk to attend the final day of Gulf Cooperation Council GCC summit in Sekhir, Bahrain. The office of Kuwait’s ruling emir says the oil-rich nation’s leader has undergone surgery following routine medical tests in the United States. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, right, and Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, left, stand togetherat the Togu Palace in Tokyo Feb. 24, 2014. Crown Prince Salman is in Japan for an eight-day visit. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai, Pool)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, right, is welcomed by Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, left, at the Togu Palace in Tokyo Feb. 24, 2014. Crown Prince Salman is in Japan for an eight-day visit. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai, Pool)
FILE - In this file photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, from left, Kuwait's Emir Sheik Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah and Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa walk to attend the final day of Gulf Cooperation Council GCC summit in Sekhir, Bahrain. Relief aid officials are hoping wealthy Gulf states and other international donors gathering for a major fundraising drive in Kuwait will step up their giving to help Syrians affected by the country’s civil war, warning that conditions are fast deteriorating as refugee numbers grow and prospects for a ceasefire remain elusive. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, meets with Saudi Arabia'a Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, April 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, right, speaks with Saudi Arabia's Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud during their meeting inside 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, April 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham-Pool)
Britain's Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, second right, bids farewell to Saudi Arabia's Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, second left, as he leaves after meeting Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron inside 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, April 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011 file photo, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, right, offers his condolences to Prince Salman bin Abdel-Aziz upon the death of on his brother Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, at Prince Sultan palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has named a new defense minister to replace the late crown prince who held the post. King Abdullah appointed Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud minister of defense and aviation on Saturday. Prince Salman replaces Crown Prince Sultan, who died Oct. 22. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
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The new appointments further thrust a new generation of Saudi princes into the line of succession.

Prince Muqrin, who was crown prince until Wednesday's reshuffle, is the youngest son of the founder of Saudi Arabia, the late King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. At 69 years old, he once headed the kingdom's intelligence agency, but was largely seen as a transitional figure in his post as crown prince.

Power has passed among Abdul-Aziz's sons, from brother to brother, since his death in 1953. The crown prince and deputy crown prince are both from among a generation of grandsons of Abdul-Aziz.

The late King Abdullah had named Muqrin as crown prince in a move approved at the time by the Allegiance Council, a body made up of the living sons of Abdul-Aziz and some of the prominent grandsons who vote to pick the king and crown prince from among them.

The Allegiance Council, whose work was formalized under Abdullah before his passing in January, was likely consulted about the current reshuffle.

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