Saudi Arabia appoints new successor to King Abdullah
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has appointed Defence Minister Prince Salman as crown prince and heir apparent, ensuring a smooth succession at a time of tough challenges for the world's biggest oil exporter.
The appointment, reported on state television, was announced in a royal decree one day after the burial of Crown Prince and Interior Minister Nayef, who died on Saturday.
Crown Prince Salman becomes Abdullah's third heir after the deaths of two elder brothers in the past eight months. He has built a reputation for pragmatism and is seen as likely to continue the king's cautious domestic reforms.
Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, a younger brother of both Salman and Nayef, was named as the new interior minister after spending several decades as deputy interior minister.
The new crown prince will keep the defence portfolio and has been appointed deputy prime minister to King Abdullah, the royal decree said.
Salman, 76, a half-brother of the 89-year-old Abdullah, is likely to continue with cautious social and economic reforms as well as Saudi Arabia's moderate oil pricing policy, analysts said before his appointment.
He would also be likely to maintain the kingdom's alliances with Western and Sunni Muslim states, they said.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Anonymity order lifted for triple child killer David McGreavy jailed in 1973
World news in pictures
Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
Video emerges of Pope Francis reportedly performing an exorcism in St Peter’s Square
- 1 Terror at Woolwich barracks: Attacker tried to behead and disembowel British soldier
- 2 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.