Saudi Prince Muqrin named deputy crown prince
RIYADH // Saudi Arabia’s Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former intelligence chief, has been appointed deputy crown prince, Saudi state television reported on Thursday.
The appointment makes Prince Muqrin, the youngest son of the kingdom’s founder, King Abdulaziz Al Saud, next in line to succeed in the world’s top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam after his half-brothers King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman.
“King Abdullah appoints Prince Muqrin as king in case the positions of king and crown prince become vacant,” Al-Arabiya television said, quoting a statement from the royal court.
The announcement gives more assurance to the kingdom’s long-term succession process at a moment when it sees itself as being a lone island of stability amid conflict and political turmoil across the Middle East.
King Abdullah turned 90 last year and Crown Prince Salman is 78. Prince Muqrin was 70 last year.
Prince Muqrin already holds the position of second deputy prime minister, a role to which he was appointed a year ago and was traditionally but informally seen as being equivalent to crown prince in waiting.