Saudi king names Salman crown prince


Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Monday issued a royal decree naming his half-brother Prince Salman as heir to the throne following the death of crown prince Nayef.
The monarch appointed Salman “crown prince and deputy prime minister” while also keeping him on as defence minister, said the decree published by the state news agency SPA. In a simultaneous decree, the monarch promoted Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz to take over from Nayef as interior minister, the SPA said.
Salman, 76, became defence minister in October following the death of Sultan, the then crown prince and long-serving defence and aviation minister, while Nayef was named heir to the throne. It was the first ministerial post for Salman who had been the governor of Riyadh for around 50 years. Nayef died on Saturday in Switzerland of “cardiac problems,” a medical source in Geneva said. The kingdom’s security czar, who was behind an iron-fisted crackdown on Al-Qaeda following a wave of attacks in the kingdom between 2003 and 2006, had frequently travelled abroad for medical treatment. By appointing Salman, King Abdullah is following the tradition of keeping top posts in the hands of the first generation of the sons of Abdul Aziz, founder of the desert kingdom. King Abdullah in 2006 established the Allegiance Council, a commission of 35 senior princes, as a new mechanism to name heirs to the throne of the Gulf oil powerhouse in the long term.