[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
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.