|Prince Nayef, Saudi Arabia|
AFP - The Interior Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, 78, was appointed Thursday by a decree of the royal cabinet of the new crown prince oil rich kingdom, one week after the death of his brother, Prince Sultan. Prince Nayef was also confirmed in his post as interior minister and appointed Deputy Prime Minister, becoming the first in the order of succession in the country. According to the decree issued by state television, the king decided to appoint "Prince Nayef Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior."
Prince Nayef, who was second deputy prime minister, succeeds Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, whose death occurred last Friday in the United States and was buried Tuesday in Riyadh. King Abdullah briefed the "Council of allegiance", a small board of the ruling family of Al Saud, of its decision and asked its members, numbering 35, to "pledge allegiance to Prince Nayef," now heir the throne, it is written in the order.
Minister of Interior for nearly four decades, it has emerged as a bastion of Al-Saud dynasty, overseeing the fight against al Qaeda but also raging against all forms of opposition. The "Council of allegiance" was created as a result of a reform of the system introduced in 2006 in succession to ensure a peaceful transition of power in this ultra-conservative Gulf monarchy, the first world oil power.
The decree did not mention the post of defense minister, left vacant after the death of Crown Prince disappeared. He had held this position since 1962 and oversaw the modernization of the armed forces of the kingdom, very concerned about its stability. An appointment to head the Defense Ministry is awaited with interest by politicians who believe that the eventual choice to this strategic position of a prince of the third generation of Al-Saud would be an indicator of a desire for rejuvenation of direction until captured by the seventies or eighties son of the founder of the kingdom, King Ibn Saud. Thus, King Abdullah, 87, had left a hospital Saturday in Riyadh after back surgery that had been to "correct a stabilizing ligament laxity around the third vertebra," the day of the death of Prince Sultan.
The king had already taken place in November 2010 in New York for a herniated disc, complicated by a hematoma, and then underwent a second operation in early December. The U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, came Thursday in Riyadh at the head of a major civil and military delegation to offer condolences of the United States after the death of Prince Sultan, left in the evening the Saudi capital without meeting with King Abdullah , it was U.S. source said. By entering Tuesday's funeral the Crown Prince, King Abdullah appeared tired: he wore a medical mask and asked sitting on a chair while the prayer for the dead is traditionally stood before the remains of the deceased.
Prince Nayef was quoted by the official SPA news agency, then said he tried in vain to dissuade the king to attend the funeral "out of concern for his health." "But when you know the place occupied by Sultan home, we understand" his insistence to attend, he said.