Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ousted his nephew as crown prince and replaced him with his con, Mohammed bin Salman as heir to the kingdom, in a major reshuffle announced on Wednesday.
According to the official Saudi Press Agency, the new crown prince was also named deputy prime minister while maintaining his post has defense minister.
The former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a 57-year-old nephew of the king, was also fired from his post as interior minister.
State-run al-Arabiya channel reported that Saudi Arabia’s Allegiance Council voted 34 to 31 in favor of the changes.
The reshuffle follows a diplomatic row between the kingdom and Qatar as well as escalating tensions with Iran. Saudi Arabia has also been at war with neighboring Yemen for over two years, a war that has killed more than 12,000 Yemeni civilians.
The 31-year-old prince was little known in Saudi Arabia as well as across the world before his father became king in January 2015.
According to al-Arabiya, the Saudi king called for a public pledging of allegiance to the new crown prince early on Wednesday.
Mohammed bin Nayef immediately vowed loyalty to his successor after the decree.