Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman becomes Saudi’s Prime Minister
According to a royal decree issued on Tuesday, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia appointed Prince Khalid as the country’s defence minister and his second son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as the nation’s prime minister.
According to the royal edict, which was relayed by the official news agency SPA, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, another son, was retained in his position as Energy Minister.
The proclamation stated that Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, minister of foreign affairs, Mohammed al-Jadaan, minister of finance, and Khalid al-Falih, minister of investments, all remained in their positions.
According to a Saudi official on Tuesday, Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s new position is consistent with the tasks the monarch previously assigned to him, which included representing the country abroad and serving as summit chair.
According to the official, “HRH the crown prince already oversees the main executive bodies of the state on a daily basis, based on the king’s directives, and his new function as prime minister is within that context.”
The crown prince, also known as MbS, has served as the country’s defence minister and served as Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler. Saudi Arabia is the region’s leading oil exporter and a significant ally of the United States.
The younger brother of MbS, Prince Khalid bin Salman, previously held the position of deputy defence minister. In accordance with the decree, King Salman will continue to preside over cabinet meetings.
The 86-year-old King, who is in charge of the holiest sites in Islam, took the throne in 2015 after serving as the crown prince for more than two and a half years. Over the past two years, he has spent a number of nights in the hospital.
Since coming to power in 2017, Prince Mohammed has made significant changes to Saudi Arabia, including allowing women to drive, reducing the influence of the clerics over society, and leading attempts to diversify the economy beyond dependency on oil.
However, his reforms have been accompanied by a harsh crackdown on dissent, leading to the imprisonment of activists, royals, women’s rights advocates, and businesses.
As a result of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the country’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018, the kingdom’s relations with the United States and other Western allies have been strained.