PROFILE: New Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman

Bassem Aly , Wednesday 29 Apr 2015

Mohammed Bin Salman, son of the Saudi king, has been groomed in leadership roles in the worlds of politics, culture, law and the military before turning 30

Mohammed bin Salman
New Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (photo: AP)

On Wednesday, Saudi King Salman Abdul Aziz selected the current Defence Minister Mohammed Bin Salman, his own son, to become deputy crown prince, as part of several sweeping changes the 79-year-old royal made in top-level leadership.

At thirty years of age, Mohammed now stands in line behind newly chosen crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef for the kingdom's throne, which makes him one of the youngest potential candidates to rule Riyadh.

In January, following the ascension of Salman to the throne, Mohammed was appointed by his father to serve as defence minister, making him, again, the youngest prince to ever hold the country's top military post.

The young prince, who holds a law degree from King Saud University, has also served since January as chief of royal protocol for Salman.

Mohammed started his career as a consultant to the Experts Commission of the Saudi cabinet.

He has been acting as a special advisor to his father since 2013.

The thirty-year-old has also gained wide experience in the fields of culture and education.

At one point, he worked as a special advisor to the chairman of the board of the King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives. He also worked on the executive committee for the preservation of the historical Diriya region in partnership with the UNESCO.

The defence minister has long enjoyed good relations with the leadership of the kingdom's 300,000-strong army, according to AFP.

As head of the armed forces, Mohammed acted as commander of the Saudi-led Arab coalition in operation Decisive Storm against Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Last week, the kingdom ended its month-long campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthis, declaring it a success.

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