Trump, Saudi crown prince discuss Mideast peace

US President Donald Trump with Prince Mohammed bin Salman now installed as Saudi Arabia's crown prince in March

US President Donald Trump with Prince Mohammed bin Salman now installed as Saudi Arabia's crown prince in March

Saudi King Salman made on Wednesday his favorite son and Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, empowering the 31-year-old reformist as next in line to the throne in a move suggesting more hawkish Saudi foreign policy in regional conflicts, but not a rush into altering the Kingdom's current oil policies and strategies.

The move wasn't totally unanticipated as a possibility, but has far-reaching consequences.

King Salman's decree said Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, long a favorite of Washington's for his tough stance against militancy, is relieved of all positions.

Trump is reported to have congratulated the new crown prince and expressed hopes for stronger ties between both countries, according to Saudi media.

Tikit did not exclude that Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud will follow the policy of the U.S. and the UAE, which declared "war" against political Islam.

Many Saudis opined that the new changes would help in achieving the objectives of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 more effectively.

Although he is still in his youth, Mohammed bin Salman has for a long time held senior government positions and has been at the forefront of the kingdom's plans to wean itself off oil as one of economic strategies that were launched past year. He is also defense minister; deputy prime minister; chair of the Supreme Economic Council; head of a council overseeing the state-run oil giant Saudi Aramco; head of the Public Investment Fund; and a top member of the Council of Political and Security Affairs.

The Saudi Information Ministry said three of its elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members had been arrested aboard an explosive-laden boat near an oil platform in the Gulf.

"Our role has been to encourage the parties to get their issues on the table, clearly articulated, so that those issues can be addressed and some resolution process can get under way to bring this to a conclusion", Tillerson said. The previous crown prince, 57-year old Mohammed bin Nayef, was removed from that post by the king.

Saudi Arabia's intervention in Yemen in March 2015 signalled a more aggressive foreign policy, emphasised again this month when the kingdom and its allies imposed an embargo on neighbouring Qatar.

The new interior minister, who attended Dhahran Ahliyyah School and King Saud University, is part of a new batch of young leaders who have rocketed to the kingdom's upper ranks since King Salman took over.

The new succession lineup and the sidelining of the former crown prince settles the competition between the two men. Analysts and diplomats say he was the prime mover in the kingdom's decision to go to war in Yemen, and more recently, to lead the campaign against Qatar.

Prince Salman's appointment is politically significant because, at the tender age of 31, he will likely rule Saudi Arabia for decades after his 81-year-old father dies.

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