Saudi Arabia moves from the benign certainties of the past

Three big things have emerged in the changes in Saudi Arabia’s government last week.

The first and most obvious is the replacement as crown prince of Prince Muqrin, the youngest son of Saudi Arabia’s founder King Abdulaziz, by Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, deemed the most competent of Abdulaziz’s many grandsons.

It’s not inconceivable that Mohammed Bin Nayef may yet fail to get the top job. But that would require either a serious failure by one of the kingdom’s most capable officials, a complete change of mind by King Salman in concert with the inner core of leading Saudi princes about his suitability for kingship or the collapse in the health of a man more than 20 years younger than the one he’s meant to replace.

In most foreseeable circumstances, Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef will succeed in due course. The matter’s as good as settled.

Read this article in full in MEED here:  Saudi Arabia moves away from the benign certainties of the past