Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Wednesday sacked his younger half brother as crown prince and appointed his nephew, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, as the new heir apparent, state television said.
The post of crown prince secures Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as the most likely successor to King Salman.
He is widely known internationally and to the U.S. as Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism czar ..
He also appointed his son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as deputy crown prince, and replaced veteran foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal with the kingdom’s Washington ambassador Adel al-Jubeir.
In a decree published by state media, King Salman said he was following in the footsteps of his late brother, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, in seeking the most suitable candidate for the top jobs in the world’s top oil exporter.
King Salman, who ascended the throne upon the death of King Abdullah in January, also appointed former labor Minister Adel Fakieh as new economy minister and Mufrej al-Haqbani as new labor minister.
Ahmed al-Sweilem was appointed as new head of the royal court, replacing Prince Mohammed bin Salman while Khalid al-Falih was appointed health minister and chairman of state-owned ARAMCO alongside the position of health minister.