Crown prince to run Saudi Arabia as king starts holiday in UK

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Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef has been appointed to manage the kingdom’s affairs as King Salman goes on holiday in the United Kingdom.

State news agency SPA said Thursday that Salman began his holiday in Britain and left the state affairs to his nephew bin Nayef, whom he appointed in April 2015 as the first in line to the throne.

The SPA did not say how long the Saudi king will stay in the UK.

The 80-year-old monarch, who rose to power in January 2015 after the death of his brother King Abdullah, has been on a number of controversial holidays abroad over the past two years.

King Salman and his entourage are known for lavish spending during their stays in Europe.

A car arrives at the villa of the Saudi king in Vallauris Golfe-Juan, southeastern France, on July 26, 2015 ©AFP

His trip to southern France last year was cut short when French public protested the closing of a large swath of the beach to ensure the safety of the monarch.

Salman’s appointment of Nayef as the interim leader comes as the king’s son, Mohammed, is widely known to have the final say on major state issues.

The 31-year-old, who is the second in line to the rule, serves as the country’s defense minister, leading a devastating war on the neighboring Yemen. He has also been tasked by his father to run the country’s drive toward economic reform.

 

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