Mohammed bin Salman. (File photo) Photograph: (Reuters)
Mohammed bin Salman will take over from previous prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who has been fired
Saudi King Salman on Wednesday named his son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince, completing a gradual removal of powers from the previous prince Mohammed bin Nayef, 57, who has been fired.
According to a royal decree issued by the official Saudi Press Agency, Mohammed bin Salman, 31, was also named deputy prime minister, and maintains his post as minister of defence.
Mohammed bin Nayef, a veteran law enforcer well-regarded in the West for his efforts to combat al-Qaeda, was also fired from his post as interior minister, the decree said.
The appointment of Mohammed bin Salman caps a tumultuous two years since Salman, 81, ascended the throne and named the thick-bearded Mohammed bin Salman deputy crown prince, or second in line to the throne.
In a conservative kingdom used to ageing leaders, the rise of the young prince symbolises the hopes of a youthful local population, more than half of which is under 25.
The hard-charging Mohammed bin Salman's public profile rapidly eclipsed that of the crown prince.