Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz named his son and heir Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the country’s prime minister and his second son Prince Khalid as defense minister, a royal order showed on Tuesday.
The king’s other son, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, is the energy minister while Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan, and Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih continue to be in their positions, the decree showed.
The crown prince, known as MbS, was earlier the defense minister and has been the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of oil and a major U.S. ally in the Middle East.
His new role as prime minister is in accordance with the king’s previous delegation of power and duties to him, including representing the kingdom on global visits and presiding over summits hosted by the kingdom, a Saudi official said.
“HRH the crown prince, based on the king’s orders, already supervises the main executive bodies of the state on a daily basis, and his new role as prime minister is within that context,” said the official, who refused to be named.
Looking back at history, such reshuffling of duties has taken place in the kingdom many times, the official said.
King Salman, 86, will still chair the Cabinet meetings he attends, the decree showed.