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Saudi King’s Son Plotted Effort to Oust His Rival

NYT

And the collection of so much power by one young royal, Prince Mohammad bin Salman, has unsettled a royal family long guided by consensus and deference to elders.“You may have now such a concentration of power within one branch and within one individual who is also younger than so many of the cousins and sons of former kings that it may begin to create a situation where the family is out of whack,” said Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a fellow for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, who studies Persian Gulf politics.The insularity of Saudi Arabia’s sprawling and phenomenally wealthy royal family is well known, often leaving diplomats, intelligence agents and members of the family itself struggling to decipher its inner workings.But since The New York Times reported last month that Mohammed bin Nayef had been confined to his palace, United States officials and associates of senior royals have provided similar accounts of how the elder prince was pressured to step aside by his nephew. All spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to endanger their contacts inside the kingdom, or themselves.In response to questions from The Times, a written statement by a senior Saudi official denied that Mohammed bin Nayef had been pressured and said that the Allegiance Council, a body of senior princes, had approved the change in “the best interest of the nation.”The statement said Mohammed bin Nayef was the first to pledge allegiance to the new crown prince and had insisted that the moment be filmed and broadcast. The former crown prince receives guests daily in his palace in Jidda and has visited the king and the crown prince more than once, the statement said.The rivalry between the princes began in 2015, when King Salman ascended the throne and bestowed tremendous power on his favorite son.Continue reading the main storyMohammed bin Salman was named deputy crown prince, or second in line to become king, as well as defense minister; put in charge of a powerful economic council; and given oversight of the state oil monopoly, Saudi Aramco.Mohammed bin Salman elevated his profile with visits to China, Russia and the United States, where he met with Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, and dined with President Trump in the White House. He has also guided Vision 2030, an ambitious plan for the future of the kingdom that seeks to transform the Saudi economy and improve life for citizens.Mohammed bin Salman’s supporters praise him as a hard-working visionary who has addressed the kingdom’s challenges with extraordinary directness

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Saudi King’s Son Plotted Effort to Oust His Rival

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