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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Named Kingdom’s Prime Minister

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been named the kingdom’s prime minister, a position traditionally held by the king. Prince Mohammed, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, is first in line to succeed his father as king, who announced the new position on Tuesday in a royal decree. The duties of prime minister are known to the prince, known as MBS, since he has already been representing the kingdom on foreign visits and chairing summits hosted by the kingdom. MBS previously served as defense minister, a position now to be held by his younger brother, Khalid bin Salman. King Salman, 86, who became ruler in 2015, has continued to delegate responsibility to the crown prince; the king is said to be in ill health. He will continue to preside over cabinet meetings, however, according to the decree.  The move could shield the crown prince from a potentially damaging lawsuit in the US in connection to his alleged role in the murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.