Prince Salman has been appointed the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia, ensuring a smooth succession at a time of tough challenges for the world’s biggest oil exporter.
The appointment, reported on state television, was announced in a royal decree one day after the burial of Crown Prince and Interior Minister Nayef, who died on Saturday.
Nayef left Saudi Arabia last month for scheduled medical tests and a vacation, the Royal Court said at the time. Nayef met with a number of the kingdom’s princes and officials at his residence in Geneva, the Saudi Press Agency reported on June 12.
The new crown prince must be approved by the Allegiance Council, a 34-strong assembly of King Abdul Aziz’s sons and some of his grandchildren.
Saudi Arabia is expected to declare a period of mourning following Prince Nayef’s burial.
The death of Prince Nayef comes at a testing time for Saudi Arabia.
Although the kingdom remains calmer than many of its neighbours, youth unemployment, demands for women’s rights and the impact of the uprisings happening across the Arab world present new challenges to the ruling monarchy.