Published: Tue, June 27, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Sudanese president meets new Saudi crown prince

Sudanese president meets new Saudi crown prince

The Vision 2030 plan launched by the Prince a year ago seeks to end the country's dependence on oil, reform its finances and encourage private enterprise.

He is Defence Minister, a role that in Saudi Arabia gives its incumbent command of one of the world's biggest arms budgets and makes him ultimately responsible for Saudi Arabia's unprecedented military adventure in Yemen.

His rapid ascent over the past two years has symbolised the hopes of the kingdom's young population, more than half of which is under 25, AFP said. "To have 31-year old Crown Prince is a decisive break with past practice", Croft said on CNBC Wednesday.

Bin Nayef not only loses the titles of crown prince and deputy prime minister, but was also dismissed as interior minister.

"We are a primary target for the Iranian regime", he told the New York Times, accusing Tehran of seeking to take over Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia, which is home to Mecca and Medina.

"We know we are a main target of Iran", the prince said, warning that he "will work so that it becomes a battle for them in Iran and not in Saudi Arabia".

The royal decree did not nominate a new deputy crown prince. Both countries are heavily engaged in the region's major conflicts.

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A royal order said his appointment was endorsed by 31 of 34 members on the Council of Allegiance, which decides on succession issues.

Advertisements and proclamations have been churned out by public figures such as clerics and royals and businessmen in their thousands in a country where dissent against the absolute monarchy is nearly non-existent - but a full page advertisement taken out in a Saudi newspaper by McDonald's, wishing the promoted prince "peace and prosperity", has perplexed many people both inside the kingdom and internationally.

Princes received on Wednesday those who came to pledge allegiance to the crown prince, wishing that the kingdom continues to enjoy its safety and welfare within the framework of King Salman leadership.

It could also empower Mohammed bin Salman to move faster with his plan to reduce the kingdom's dependence on oil, which includes the partial privatization of state oil company Aramco. The comments sparked an apparent response from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who dubbed the Saudi leadership "idiots" whose policies would lead to "certain downfall".

A message of congratulations was also posted on social media.

By making Mohammed bin Salman "de facto ruler" heading the kingdom's most important portfolios, King Salman created "a solid foundation" for his son's policies, said Andreas Krieg of the Defense Studies Department at King's College London.

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