Is Saudi Arabia mulling to replace Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his brash and volatile behaviour which is blemishing the reputation of Riyadh? According to media reports, Saudi Arabia’s ruling family is looking to replace Mohammed bin Salman with his less ambitious brother, Khalid bin Salman,
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The report by the French paper Le Figaro cited a diplomatic source in Paris as saying that the Saudi Allegiance Council had covertly attended a meeting to discuss the disappearance of anti-Riyadh journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who is believed to have been killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey’s Istanbul upon an order from Mohammed bin Salman.
The Saudi Allegiance Council, which appointed Mohammed bin Salman as the new crown prince last year by breaking the customary rules of succession, is now planning to designate Khalid bin Salman, the current Saudi envoy to the US, as deputy crown prince.
One Saudi source explained to Le Figaro that if Khalid was appointed, it would mean that Mohammed bin Salman will leave his position in the coming years. This way power stays in the Salman family, the report added.
According to the report, Khalid, who is popular both at home and abroad, would gradually take over from his brother and replace him down the road. Khalid, 28, flew to Riyadh last week, The New York Times reported, adding he will not return to the US as the Saudi envoy.
Le Figaro states that bin Salman had already made himself big enemies in the Allegiance Council by breaking an agreement among first-class princes from various branches of the royal family to hand the power to the last king’s son. He has also created a great deal of animosity towards himself from inside the Al Saud family, many of whose members were arrested as part of his crackdown on corruption.