Saudi Arabia’s interior minister, Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz has been named as the new crown prince and deputy prime minister. The announcement came via a royal decree which was read on state television on Friday.
King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz had earlier held a meeting with the chief and members of the Allegiance-Pledge Commission at his palace in Riyadh. During the meeting, Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki al-Awwal (the first) bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Prince Bandar bin Musaed bin Abdulaziz al-Saud were sworn in before the monarch as new members of the Commission.
The new commission members pledged allegiance to Prince Nayef and wished him success and to become the best assistant to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia steady security, stability and national integration.
Prince Nayef replaces Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz the former deputy prime minister and defense minister, who died after a medical check visit to the United States last week.
The new Crown Prince was born in 1934 and he has held the post of interior minister since 1975.
The Saudi monarchy is unique in the sense that the line of succession does not move directly from father to eldest son, but has moved down a line of brothers born to the kingdom’s founder Ibn Saud, who died in 1953.