Saudi Arabia’s crown prince named prime minister

New York: Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince has been named prime minister, a post traditionally held by the king, in a government shuffle announced.

Mohammed bin Salman, who has been the kingdom’s de facto ruler for several years, was previously serving as deputy prime minister under King Salman as well as defense minister.

He is being replaced as defense minister by his younger brother, Khalid bin Salman, who was previously deputy defense minister.

The heads of other critical ministries, including interior, foreign, and energy, remained in place, according to a royal decree from King Salman published by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Prince Mohammed, who turned 37 last month, has been first in line to succeed his father as king since 2017. He became defense minister in 2015, a key step in a swift consolidation of power that saw him take the lead on major portfolios.

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