Riyad September 27 2022: Saudi Arabia’s 86-year-old king appointed his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to replace him as the kingdom’s prime minister, state-run news agency SPA said.
Crown Prince Mohammed, 37, has been gradually taking on greater powers in the world’s largest oil exporter under his father King Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA did not give a reason for the move.
The crown prince, known by his initials MBS, already oversaw many of Saudi Arabia’s major portfolios, including oil, defense, economic policy and internal security -- while his father remains head of state.
Heir to the throne since pushing aside an older cousin in 2017, MBS has steadily concentrated authority in his hands, detaining potential opponents and overturning the decades-old tradition of balancing power between branches of the royal family.
He’s pushed forward with a sweeping economic reform program and this year hosted US President Joe Biden in the kingdom, turning the page on years of frictions over the killing of Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018 by Saudi agents.