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Saudi King Names Crown Prince Mohammed as Prime Minister

  • Prince Mohammed becomes formal head of Saudi government
  • Saudi king traditionally also holds title of prime minister
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Photographer: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

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Saudi Arabia’s 86-year-old king appointed his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to replace him as prime minister, continuing a gradual transfer of power in the world’s largest oil exporter.

Already de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, the appointment formalizes Prince Mohammed as leader of the kingdom’s government. Known by his initials MBS, the crown prince, 37, already oversaw many of Saudi Arabia’s major portfolios, including oil, defense, economic policy and internal security -- while his father King Salman bin Abdulaziz remains head of state.