Mohammed bin Salman named crown prince

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (SPA)
Updated 26 June 2017
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Mohammed bin Salman named crown prince

JEDDAH: Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been appointed as crown prince, replacing Prince Mohammed bin Naif, a royal decree carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Wednesday.
The SPA report said Mohammed bin Salman was chosen as crown prince by 31 out of 34 members of the Kingdom’s Succession Committee during a meeting at Al Safa Palace in Makkah during the early hours of Wednesday.
The new crown prince serves in a concurrent capacity as defense minister and chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs.

The decree issued by King Salman also appointed Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif as interior minister, a post held by the former crown prince.

Born Nov. 4, 1983, Prince Abdulaziz is the youngest ever to serve as interior minister in the Kingdom.
SPA said King Salman appointed the following as advisers to the Royal Court with the rank of minister: Abdul Rahman bin Ali Rubaiaan, Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al Dawoud, Bandar bin Khalid bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Faisal bin Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sudairy was named adviser to the Royal Court with excellent rank.
Also appointed were: Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Salem, deputy interior minister with the rank of minister; Prince Bandar bin Faisal bin Bandar, assistant to the President of the General Intelligence; Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz, vice chairman of the General Authority for Sport Management; and Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz, deputy to the Emir of Al-Jouf.
Appointed as the Kingdom’s new ambassadors were Prince Faisal bin Sattam bin Abdulaziz, to Italy, and Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, to Germany.
In a viral video that has been circulated on social media, Prince Mohammed bin Naif, former crown prince, pledged allegiance to the newly appointed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at Al-Safa Palace on Wednesday.


Congratulatory messages pour in
The new appointment received a broad support in the national, Islamic and international spheres.
The highest religious body, Council of Senior Scholars, pledged allegiance to the newly appointed Crown Prince in a series of tweets hailing the leadership’s wise choice.
Meanwhile, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) welcomed the choice by King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud of Prince Muhammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz as crown prince and vice chairman of the Council of Ministers, while continuing in his role as defense minister.
OIC Secretary General Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen expressed his congratulations to King Salman over this choice, given Prince Muhammed’s experience, wisdom and vision in the management of the affairs of the Kingdom, his dedication to the service of his religion, nation and ummah, and his commitment to taking far-reaching steps on joint actions in the interest of the Islamic world.
Sheikh Mohammad Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Makkah-based Muslim World League, described the appointment of the new crown prince as successful and promising given the national and international prestige Mohammed bin Salman enjoys.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Issa said Prince Mohammed bin Salman had always served his religion first, and his country, king and nation second.
Head of the Council of Pakistanis Scholars, Sheikh Al-Hafiz Mohammad Taher Mahmoud Ashrafi, backed the royal decree and said that the appointment is a wise step taken by King Salman and Saudi Arabia’s Allegiance Council, as Prince Mohammed is known for his ethics and leadership, as seen in Vision 2030.
On the international scale, the United States President Donald Trump called the newly-appointed crown prince and congratulated hims on new promotion, saying it “strengthens” the United States partnership with the Kingdom.
The Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, sent a letter congratulating Mohammed bin Salman on his appointment as Saudi’s Crown Prince and vice chairman of the Council of Ministers.
“This choice is a recognition of the great effort you have made throughout the years to enhance the importance and centrality of your country’s role in achieving delicate balances for the region,” the letter read.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s ruler, whose country is facing a boycott by some of its neighbors over allegations of supporting terrorism, has congratulated Mohammed bin Salman on his appointment as crown prince of Saudi Arabia, the state news agency QNA said.
QNA said the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, sent a cable to Prince Mohammed “wishing him success ... for the good of the kingdom under the wise leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques ... and for more progress for brotherly relations between the two brotherly countries.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his congratulations to prince Mohammed bin Salman on his new post as Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince.


Saudi stock market soars
The Saudi stock market index on Wednesday jumped by 5.5 percent to an 18-month high, following news that King Salman has placed his 31-year-old son next in line to the throne.

-With input from Reuters


Huge expectations from Saudi crown prince’s Korea visit

Updated 35 min 52 sec ago
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Huge expectations from Saudi crown prince’s Korea visit

  • The export of South Korea’s APR-1400 nuclear reactor technology to Saudi Arabia is high on the agenda

SEOUL: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is due to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday to discuss wider economic ties between the two countries, according to the presidential office.
The crown prince’s visit to South Korea is the first by an heir to the throne of the world’s largest oil exporter since then-Crown Prince Abdullah’s tour in 1998. The crown prince will also attend the G20 Summit next week in Osaka, Japan.
The two-day visit is expected to deliver key agreements with South Korea in a variety of industrial fields, including cooperation on nuclear reactor and defense technologies.
“Saudi Arabia, a key ally of South Korea, is the biggest oil supplier to our government and the largest economic partner among the Middle Eastern countries,” presidential spokeswoman Koh Min-jung told reporters.
“Both leaders are expected to discuss detailed measures to expand bilateral cooperation beyond the traditional areas of construction and energy to the sectors of information and technology, nuclear energy, green cars, health, public service and exchange of human resources.”
The crown prince and his economic advisers are scheduled to have luncheon with South Korean business leaders after his summit with President Moon, she said.
Business leaders attending the luncheon will include Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics; Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group; Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group, and Koo Kwang-mo, chairman of LG Group.
A Samsung spokesman, who declined to be named, told Arab News that his company has a package of business proposals to present to Saudi Arabia.
“We’re not sure at the moment what business elements the Kingdom wants, but we have a variety of business packages that can meet the Saudi Vision 2030 requirements, ranging from engineering, procurement and construction to information and communications technology, and artificial intelligence,” the spokesman said.
Hyundai Motor Group was cautious about revealing potential business projects with Riyadh.
“We’ll see what’s happening. We have high expectations about potential business cooperation with Saudi Arabia,” a Hyundai Motor spokesman said, while asking not to be named.
The export of South Korea’s APR-1400 nuclear reactor technology to Saudi Arabia is high on the agenda.
Team Korea, led by the Korea Electric Power Corp., was shortlisted last year for a nuclear power plant construction project in Saudi Arabia, along with the US, China, France and Russia. The project by the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy is aimed at building two nuclear power plants by 2030.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Different South Korean companies are reportedly keen to invest in Saudi Arabia and become part of Vision 2030’s success.

• The Saudi leader is also expected to attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of Saudi-owned S-Oil’s residue upgrading facility.

• Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will also attend the G20 Summit next week in Osaka, Japan.

With Riyadh reportedly leaning toward the US bidder, Team Korea is considering forming a strategic consortium with the US side, according to government sources.
“The possibility of the Korea-US consortium for the Saudi project is a feasible option,” said Huh Min-ho, a researcher of Shinhan Invest Corp., referring to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval of the technical design of South Korea’s APR-1400 reactors.
“For South Korea, joining hands with the US is a feasible option to win the Saudi nuclear reactor contract, though the total order amount would be reduced,” the analyst said. “Once the Saudi project is won, more orders are expected to come from other countries such as the UK, the Czech Republic and Poland.”
South Korea already has a nuclear power footprint in in the Middle East after its construction of the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE. The country recently won a five-year maintenance deal for the nuclear plant with Nawah Energy Co., the operator of the plant.
The Saudi crown prince is also interested in South Korea’s weapons development technology, according to defense sources, and is scheduled to visit the Agency for Defense Development, South Korea’s only weapons developing agency, during his stay.
“We heard the crown prince is interested in the transfer of weapons technology when his country imports foreign weapons systems,” a Defense Ministry official told Arab News.
The Saudi leader is also expected to attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of Saudi-owned S-Oil’s residue upgrading facility. S-Oil, which is wholly owned by state-run Saudi Aramco, is third-largest oil refiner in South Korea.