[QODLink]
Middle East
Saudi Arabia names new crown prince
Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, the kingdom's interior minister, named heir to throne following death of previous crown prince.
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 03:40
Nayef, in addition to keeping his job as interior minister, has been named prime minister [Al Jazeera]

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has appointed Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, the current interior minister, as his new heir.

He succeeds Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, who died last week in New York City and was buried on Tuesday in the capital Riyadh.

The royal court statement, read out on state television early on Friday in the world's top oil exporter, said the crown prince had been appointed after the king met the Allegiance Council, a family body set up in 2006 to make the process of succession in the conservative Islamic kingdom more orderly.

"We expected this decision to come immediately. But this is really a self-appointed position, since there are no other competitors"

- Ali al-Ahmed, IGA director

He is set to assume the throne upon the death of Abdullah, 87, who is recovering from his third operation to treat back problems in less than a year.

Nayef, 78, was also named prime minister, in addition to keeping his job as interior minister.

The minister, long regarded as deeply conservative, is credited by some with helping stabilise the world's largest oil exporter.

"It is not a surprise at all," Ali al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, told Al Jazeera.

"We expected this decision to come immediately. But this is really a self-appointed position, since there are no other competitors," he said. "King Abdullah had no other choice."

There is thought to be little chance that the changeover at the top of Saudi Arabia's leadership would affect the country's close relations with the US.

Vice-President Joe Biden led an American delegation in the Saudi capital to offer condolences on Thursday to King Abdullah after the death of Prince Sultan, who was also Saudi Arabia's defence minister and is credited with modernising his country's armed forces, largely through huge arms deals with the US.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
join our mailing list