facebook
twitter
search
search

Saudi defense minister named crown prince

June 18, 2012 at 1:17 PM
| License Photo

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, June 18 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia's defense minister was named crown prince of the oil-rich kingdom Monday, the government announced.

Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, 76, is the half-brother of King Abdullah and will take the place of the 88-year-old monarch in the event of his death.

Salman, who had been the long-time governor of Riyadh, replaced Crown Prince Nayef, who died Saturday in Switzerland.

Al-Arabiya described Salman as pragmatic, fairly moderate and possessing a keen understanding of Saudi politics. U.S. diplomats said in a 2007 cable posted by WikiLeaks he appeared to favor social reform but preferred a cautious approach that would not unduly shake up the Kingdom's conservative culture.

As defense minister, Salman oversaw a modernization program that recently included sizable purchases of military jets from the United States and Great Britain and was working on a major order for German-built Leopard tanks.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kurds plan to carve state out of Iraq after fighting stops, leaders say
U.S. airstrike kills one of first Islamic State members in Syria
Former Russian oligarch Sergei Pugachyov suing kremlin for $15 billlion
Van hauling fireworks catches fire on I-15 near California-Nevada border
July 4 terror threats an annual but necessary ritual, experts say