October 28th, 2011
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Prince Nayef new heir to throne

riyad-kingRiyad: Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, the current interior minister  has been declared as the next heir to Saudi Arabia’s throne. He will succeed Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, who died last week in New York City and was buried at Riyad. The royal court statement, was read  out on state television.

The crown prince had been appointed after the king met the Allegiance Council, a family body set up in 2006 to make the process of succession in the conservative Islamic kingdom more orderly. He is set to assume the throne upon the death of Abdullah, 87, who is recovering from his third operation to treat back problems in less than a year.

Nayef, 78, was also named prime minister, in addition to keeping his job as interior minister. The minister, long regarded as deeply conservative, is credited by some with helping stabilise the world’s largest oil exporter.”It is not a surprise at all,” said Ali al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs. “We expected this decision to come immediately. But this is really a self-appointed position, since there are no other competitors,” he said. “King Abdullah had no other choice.”


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