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Mohammed bin Nayef

Saudi king names son as crown prince

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman ousted his nephew as crown prince on Wednesday and installed his son Mohammed bin Salman, capping a meteoric rise for the 31-year-old that puts him one step from the throne. The young prince already wielded huge power before he was named heir, spearheading a sweeping economic and social reform programme for the ultraconservative kingdom. His rise comes at a crucial time for Saudi Arabia as it is locked in a battle for regional influence with arch rival Iran, bogged down in a…

Saudi shake-up strengthens King Salman’s powerful son: analysts

RIYADH: A recent Saudi government and security shake-up aims to strengthen King Salman's increasingly powerful son against a royal rival, analysts and diplomats say. Royal decrees at the weekend saw a number of allies of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman moved into key positions and another son of the king named as ambassador to Washington. The goal, a foreign diplomat told AFP, is "to strengthen MBS (Mohammed bin Salman) and the Salman branch" of the al-Saud family which has ruled Saudi Arabia since the…

CIA director awards medal to Saudi Crown Prince

RIYADH: The heir to Saudi Arabia's throne has been awarded a medal by the new director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, who honoured his counter-terrorism work. Mike Pompeo, making his first overseas tour since being confirmed as spy agency chief in late January, made the presentation to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef at a weekend ceremony, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said. Prince Mohammed, 57, has been interior minister since 2012 and has years of experience in intelligence work. Widely respected…

Security boosted as death-marred Hajj ends

MAKKAH: Saudi Arabia deployed large numbers of special forces on Saturday as pilgrims performed the final rituals of a Hajj marred by double tragedies that killed more than 800 people.