Saudi King Salman to step down next week: report

Published: November 17, 2017
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King Salman of Saudi Arabia (left) is planning to step down next week and name his son Prince Mohammed bin Salman (right) as his successor. PHOTO: REUTERS / FILE

King Salman of Saudi Arabia (left) is planning to step down next week and name his son Prince Mohammed bin Salman (right) as his successor. PHOTO: REUTERS / FILE

Saudi monarch King Salman is set to step down and announce his son Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman as his successor next week, sources said.

The 81-year-old king will continue as a ceremonial figurehead, handing over official leadership of the country to his son — often referred to as MBS, the Daily Mail quoted royal sources as saying.

The move is seen as the final step in the 32-year-old bin Salman’s power grab, which began earlier this month with the arrests of over 40 princes and government ministers in a corruption probe.

“Unless something dramatic happens, King Salman will announce the appointment of MBS as King of Saudi Arabia next week,” the sources said. “King Salman will play the role of the queen of England. He will only keep the title ‘Custodian of the Holy Shrines’.”

The source went on to claim that once crowned king, the prince will shift his focus to Iran, a long standing rival oil empire to Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, with fears military action is possible. He will also enlist the help of the Israeli military to crush Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia supported by Iran, according to the source.

“MBS is convinced that he has to hit Iran and Hezbollah,” he said. “Contrary to the advice of the royal family elders, that’s MBS’s next target. Hence why the ruler of Kuwait privately calls him ‘The raging Bull’.”

“MBS’s plan is to start the fire in Lebanon, but he’s hoping to count on Israeli military backing. He has already promised Israel billions of dollars in direct financial aid if they agree. MBS cannot confront Hezbollah in Lebanon without Israel. Plan B is to fight Hezbollah in Syria,’ said the source.

Tensions have been rising between Saudi Arabia and Iran after the Saudi government blamed Iran for a foiled missile attack near Riyadh on November 4. The rocket was fired from neighboring Yemen and was heading towards the Saudi capital before it was shot down. The Saudi foreign minister, Adel Jubair, said Iran was responsible and called the attack ‘an act of war’.

‘Salman not to relinquish throne’

Meanwhile, another senior Saudi official dismissed the mounting speculation that the crown prince will soon ascend to the throne. “There is no possibility whatsoever that the king will abdicate,” Bloomberg quoted the unnamed official as saying.

Saudi kings usually stay in power even when bad health prevents them from carrying out their job, the official said on condition of anonymity. He noted the example of King Fahd, who stayed on as monarch until his death in 2005 despite being gravely ill in the last few years of his reign.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Andrew
    Nov 17, 2017 - 11:28AM

    Wow… This is news… The first time I have read something like this…Recommend

  • Bubba Shaikh
    Nov 17, 2017 - 12:06PM

    And where will be his retirement home, Tel Aviv ?Recommend

  • Zaida Parvez
    Nov 17, 2017 - 1:47PM

    Great move !!
    At least he will make an attempt to bring Saudi Arabia into the modern world.Recommend

  • Ali
    Nov 17, 2017 - 6:12PM

    @Zaida Parvez:
    I don’t understand your logic.

    The Saudi workforce themselves are unproductive.
    How will a king cutting their allowances going to changes that?
    Will opening up cinemas etc as part of Visions 2030 really make any difference?

    He has never worked a day in his life, so what right does he have to preach to others?

    All he’ll do is set the Middle East on fire.Recommend

  • O
    Nov 17, 2017 - 7:29PM

    Looks like the ending scene from famous movie “Syrians”. Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Nov 17, 2017 - 7:46PM

    The majority of saudi citizen are reported to be under twenty five and it is natural that they want a younger God father. The crown prince should be wary of the mafiosi world if he is using their methods in imprisoning relativs who also have followers in the outside world.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • M.Saeed
    Nov 17, 2017 - 7:53PM

    It is surprising that nobody has cared to link it with Yinon Plan of “Greater Israel”. Google search the Yinon Plan to find the horrible plan.Recommend

  • Javed Mirani
    Nov 18, 2017 - 1:01AM

    @Bubba Shaikh:
    Yeah, he is declaring saudi a srcular country. Shariat law will [nly apply in Mecca and medinia, nor Ryhad or other place.Recommend

  • M.Saeed
    Nov 18, 2017 - 7:04PM

    Saudi Arabia becoming willing partner of Greater Israel? Sign of the end game.Recommend

  • Aamir Karim
    Nov 20, 2017 - 12:17AM

    @Javed Mirani:
    Looks like a favorable step towards greater israel.Recommend

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