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Saudi Seeks Israeli Military Help To Support New Crown Prince?

The all-but-certain takeover of the throne by Mohammed bin Salman awards vast powers to a young prince who has taken a hard line with Iran and who has led a war in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians.On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ousted his nephew as crown prince and installed Mohammed, his son, as heir to the throne.Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, for years the kingdom’s counter-terrorism chief who put down an al Qaeda campaign of bombings in 2003-06, is relieved of all positions, the decree said.”Our role has been to encourage the parties to get their issues on the table, clearly articulated, so that those issues can be addressed and some resolution process can get underway to bring this to a conclusion”, he said. The plans include ending popular subsidies for gasoline, electricity and water – which changes the contract between Saudi citizens and the government, and comes with some political peril.Mohammed bin Salman’s swift rise and growing influence had already rankled other princes who accused him of undermining Mohammed bin Nayef. That visit to Washington helped lay the foundation for Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May, which marked the president’s first overseas visit and which was promoted heavily by the kingdom as proof of its weight in the region and wider Muslim world.Although Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s promotion was expected among close circles, the timing was a surprise, with the kingdom facing heightened tensions with Qatar and Iran, and locked in a war in Yemen.They accused Doha of supporting extremists, a charge it denies. Saudi Arabia is the only major emerging economy not represented in the index.With his Trump connection established, Mohammed bin Salman “knew that the US wouldn’t mind him sidelining MBN”, Lacroix said, referring to the ex-crown prince by his initials. “I don’t see that happening”, Prof Haykel said.For an older generation, Saudi television coverage was highly orchestrated, with repeated footage of Nayef, the deposed crown prince, pledging allegiance to his successor.”I think that matters”, Wehrey said.Iran’s state media on June 21 called the prince’s designation as the next Saudi ruler a “soft coup”.Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh last month.Trump’s administration has sent contradictory signals on the crisis.His appointment “is purely about demonstrating a degree of certainty in times of uncertainty”, Krieg added.Many regard him as a reformer.”This is a very new thing. the Saudi regime was always built upon a balance of power between different actors, different factions”, he said. His father is the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, home to much of the country’s oil wealth and most of its minority Shiites.