(AA) – Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohamed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz became the first grandson of the kingdom’s founder, the late King Abdulaziz Al Saud, to assume the position of crown prince.
Prince Mohamed, 56, has served as Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince for less than 100 days before King Salman bin Abdulaziz promoted him to crown prince as part of a major reshuffle announced in the early hours of Wednesday.
According to a royal decree issued early Wednesday, Prince Mohamed will also be serving as deputy prime minister, interior minister and head of the Council of Political and Security Affairs.
Prince Mohamed replaces Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King Salman’s half-brother who the royal decree said had requested to be relieved of his duties.
Prince Mohamed was born on Aug. 30, 1959. He is the son of Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz from his wife, Jawhara bint Abdulaziz bin Musaed.
He went to school in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh and later obtained a university degree in political sciences from the United States.
In the summer of 2004, he was appointed as an aide to the interior ministry for security affairs.
Prince Mohamed’s appointment in the interior ministry had come amid a surge in militant attacks in Saudi Arabia. He was the first official to establish “counseling committees” in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf tasked with rehabilitating those who had been arrested on terrorism-related charges but have not been directly indicted.
Prince Mohamed survived an attempt on his life in 2009 by a suicide bomber who blew himself up near the prince’s office in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah city.
The attack was later claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula militant group.
In 2012, Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz appointed Prince Mohamed to the post of interior minister.
Earlier this month, he met with U.S. President Barack Obama and a group of other American officials during a visit to Washington.
In Wednesday’s royal decree, King Salman also “accepted a request” by Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, the world’s longest-serving foreign minister, to be relieved of his duties, naming Saudi Ambassador to Washington Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir as new foreign minister.
King Salman has also named new ministers for health, labor and economy.
He also promoted Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Suwailem, the current chief-of-staff of the crown prince’s office, to be chief of the Royal Court.
Salman assumed the Saudi throne following the death of his brother King Abdullah on Jan. 23 of this year.