Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been appointed as the prime minister by a royal decree. The crown prince, who is heir to the throne held by King Salman, already wields wide powers and is seen as the kingdom’s day-to-day leader. The royal decree appointing him as prime minister was carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
The reshuffle kept another son, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, as energy minister, the king said in the royal decree. The crown prince, known as MbS, is promoted from defence minister and has been the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter and a major U.S. ally in the Middle East.
- The kingdom has increased its self-sufficiency in military industries to 15% from 2% and plans to reach 50% under the newly appointed defence minister, SPA reported.
- The 37-year-old crown prince, widely known by the acronym MBS, has taken the lead on Vision 2030, the kingdom’s wide-ranging plan to transform its economy and end its dependency on oil.
- Crown Prince Mohammed has changed Saudi Arabia radically since rising to power in 2017, leading efforts to diversify the economy from its dependence on oil.
- He is associated with the October 2018 killing of Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. U.S. intelligence found that the crown prince likely approved the killing.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Saudi Arabia Capital: Riyadh;
- Saudi Arabia Currency: Saudi Riyal.