Mohammad bin Salman, who was the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, has been announced as the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Wednesday. He will succeed former crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, who also happens to be Prince Salman's uncle. The major reshuffle that took place via a surprise royal decree, saw Nayef, who was next in line for the King Salman's throne, step down and be replaced by Prince Salman, the reigning king's son, reported local news agency SPA. Thirty-one out of 43 members of the Kingdom's Succession Committee chose Prince Salman as the crown prince during a meeting at Al Safa Palace in Mecca, Saudi Arabia during the early hours of Wednesday, Arab News reported. Prince Salman has previously served as the defense minister and chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs of the kingdom.
Tunisian politicians and civil society groups have expressed their rejection of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's upcoming visit to Tunisia. The visit is part of Prince Mohammed's first tour abroad since the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, which has widely been blamed on the crown prince. Saida Qarash, a spokesperson of the Tunisian government, confirmed the visit of Prince Mohammed, also known as MBS, on November 27 via a local radio station. The crown prince arrived in Abu Dhabi late on Thursday and is due to visit other countries in the region, including Bahrain and Egypt, where he will be warmly received by allied leaders who have stood firmly by his side amid international outrage over the murder of Khashoggi. MBS will also attend the G20 Summit in Argentina at the end of this month, where he will likely come face-to-face with world leaders, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has implicitly accused the crown prince of being behind the killing.
The relationship between Saudi King Salman and his son and heir, Mohammed bin Salman, has been increasingly strained as they disagree on a number of issues, including the war in Yemen, according to a Guardian report published on Tuesday. Tensions are said to have come to a head during King Salman's visit to Egypt last month when his advisors warned of a potential move against him by the crown prince, the report said, citing an anonymous source. The king's loyalists were reportedly so alarmed by the threat that his security detail during the trip was replaced by a team of 30 hand-picked loyalists. Egyptian security guards were also dismissed, the source told the Guardian. On King Salman's return, Prince Mohammed (also known as MBS) was not among the dignitaries who received the monarch.
The final report on Khashoggi's death is expected to be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council in June. A fed-up Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew just how he would deal with Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul if the journalist did not stop assailing his government. He would silence him with "a bullet," the New York Times reported. The crown prince said this to a top aide in 2017, the newspaper said, citing unnamed current and former U.S. and foreign officials described as having first-hand knowledge of intelligence reports on the conversation. If true, the threat by the crown prince is a significant indication Khashoggi had become a preoccupying irritant.
Former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef has pledged allegiance to his successor Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz. A royal decree on Wednesday removed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a 57-year-old nephew of the king, as next-in-line to the throne and replaced him with Mohammed bin Salman, 31, who was previously the deputy crown prince. In televised images released by the state's channel, Mohammed bin Salman, the former deputy crown prince, greeted his predecessor and said "I will never give up your advice". The new crown prince was also named as deputy prime minister, and maintained his defence minister role. King Salman called for royals to pledge allegiance to his son at the Safa Palace in Mecca after the Ramadan Taraweeh prayers.