Mohammed bin Salman tightens his grip on Saudi Arabia. The crown prince was given new powers on Tuesday by becoming the kingdom’s prime minister. A position traditionally held by the king.
” His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman shall be the Prime Minister, subject to Article (56) of the Basic Law on Governance and related provisions in the Council of Ministers Act.“, the official news agency SPA wrote. An unusual decision in Saudi Arabia, where the head of state and head of the council of ministers.
Mohammed bin Salman was deputy prime minister and defense minister under his father, King Salman. He was replaced as defense minister by his younger brother Khaled bin Salman, who was previously deputy defense minister.
With the appointment, the man nicknamed MBS consolidates his power after returning to the forefront of the Saudi kingdom’s international scene. The latter has been in diplomatic isolation for years since Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in his country’s embassy in Istanbul in 2018.
But with the Russian invasion and rising energy prices, Joe Biden, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other Western leaders have visited the kingdom, one of the world’s top oil exporters, to try to convince Riyadh to pump more crude.
Prince Mohammed, who turned 37 last month, succeeds his father as head of the Arab world’s largest economy. In recent years, rumors have grown about the health of the 86-year-old king, who has been hospitalized twice this year, most recently in May, according to press reports.