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Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz

A royal decree of 30 April 2015 removed Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz bin Saud as next in line to the throne and replaced him with Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, who headed a crackdown on al-Qaeda in the country a decade earlier. "We have decided to respond to his highness and what he had expressed about his desire to be relieved from the position of crown prince," said a statement from the royal court, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The decree named "Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince" as well as deputy prime minister and said he would continue in his position of interior minister and head of the political and security council, a coordinating body.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud died 22 January 2015 at the age of approximately 90. He was immediately succeeded by the Crown Prince, Highness Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The new king, thought to be 79, had been crown prince and defense minister since 2012. Another half brother, Muqrin, was named the new crown prince.

Saudi Arabia's Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former intelligence chief, was appointed deputy crown prince 27 March 2014. The appointment made the 70 year old Muqrin, the youngest son of the kingdom's founder King Abdulaziz al-Saud, next in line to succeed after his half-brothers King Abdullah [who turned 90 in 2013] and Crown Prince Salman [age 78]. Muqrin already holds the position of second deputy prime minister, a role to which he was appointed a year ago and was traditionally but informally seen as being equivalent to crown prince in waiting. Prince Muqrin: was the, constant companion of the King, and hitherto deemed unsuitable because of his "Yemeni" mother.

It was not clear, even to Saudis themselves, how the jump to the next generation will be managed, except that the King decreed procedures to decide succession with the 2006 promulgation of the Allegiance Commission Law. The announcement gives more assurance to the kingdom's long-term succession process at a moment when it sees itself as being a lone island of stability amid conflict and political turmoil across the Middle East.

The key issue remained the age of the first generation, with King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman in a race to stay alive. King Abdullah was in poor health, and some claim Salman has Alzheimer’s. In 2011-2012, within a span of less than a year, two crown princes (Sultan and Nayef) died. Mujtahidd, whose identity remains unknown to the public, is Saudi Arabia’s principal Twitter spectacle. According to his theory, the king would try to remove Salman for health reasons and promote Prince Muqrin to crown prince. The loyalist Muqrin would then be enticed by the king to step aside and make way for King Abdullah’s son Mutaib / Mitib to become crown prince. The next step would be for Muqrin to abdicate, following which Mutaib would be appointed as his successor. One observer claimed that Muqrin’s health makes this possible.

HRH Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud HRH Prince Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz, was born in Riyadh in 1369H-1945G. He was originated under the care of his father king Abdul Aziz Al Saud, in a family loving education, courage, and equitation. He obtained several academic and training certificates. He received his primary education at Al Assema Model Institute, after graduation, he joined the Saudi Royal Air Forces in 1384H – 1964G. He completed his education of aviation sciences in Britain and graduated in 1388H- 1968G. He attended advanced courses in training on fighters at Dhahran Air Base and worked at the second flight for the period from 1390H – 1393 H. He joined a course of trainers in Britain, then a course of General Staff in USA in 1394H – 1974 G and obtained a diploma( equivalent to Master Degree).

HRH Prince Muqrin was appointed in 1397H – 1977 G assistant to air operations manager, and head of plans and operations division in the Saudi Royal Air Forces. HRH was appointed by a Royal Decree dated 2/5/1400H – 8/3/1980 G, Governor of Hail Province, he stayed for 20 years in this position. HRH was appointed by a Royal Decree dated 16/8/1420H – 24/11/ G, Governor of Al Madina Province as a successor to his late brother, HRH Prince Abdul Majeed Bin Abdul Aziz.

HRH Prince Muqrin was appointed by a Royal Decree dated 19/9/1426H – 22/10/2005 G, Chairman of the GPI (rank of a minister). HRH Prince Mugrin Bin Abdul Aziz, Chairman of GPI had many interests and tendencies of astronomy, reading, culture, agriculture researches, technology applications, electronic government and its applications and Arabic poetry, he has a big library having more than ten thousand books. And HRH is the Head of many assemblies and specialized societies.

The king, the interior minister, the defense minister, and the national guard commander have responsibility in law and in practice for law enforcement and maintenance of order. When Prince Muqrin was appointed secretary-general of the General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), which has its own forces, King Abdullah remained in command of the National Guard. Crown Prince Sultan remained the defense and aviation minister with responsibility over all of that ministry's armed forces. The interior minister, Prince Naif, exercised control over government internal security forces, the internal security service orsecret police (Mabahith), and border forces.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince normally comes from one of the country’s three security institutions (Ministry of Defense [MoD], Ministry of Interior [MoI], Saudi Arabian National Guard [SANG]). This had been the case with the past four crown princes: King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz had been commander of the SANG for nearly two decades when he was named crown prince in 1982. Abdullah’s ascent to the throne in August 2005 allowed longtime Minister of Defense Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz to become crown prince. Sultan’s death in October 2011 paved the way for Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, who had led the MoI for over 35 years, to become crown prince. Sultan’s replacement atop the MoD was his brother Salman bin Abdulaziz, who became crown prince when Nayef died in June 2012. Even King Fahd bin Abdulaziz, the man whom Abdullah replaced as king in 2005, was minister of interior for more than a decade before being named crown prince in 1975.

In April 2010, Saudi Intelligence Director Prince Muqrin bin Abd al Aziz Al Saud attended theNuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, and pledged the kingdom’s support for a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. In his remarks, Prince Muqrin argued that“Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons constitutes a fundamental obstacle to the achievement of security and stability in the Middle Eastern region.” With regard to Iran, he stated that Saudi Arabia “welcomes the international endeavors to find a peaceful solution to this crisis throughdialogue in such a way as to guarantee the right of Iran and other states in the region to thepeaceful use of nuclear energy in accordance with the procedural safeguards, and under the supervision, of the International Atomic Energy Agency.” He warned of the dangers and ultimate futility of a nuclear arms race in the region and signaled support for recent changes in U.S.nuclear policy.

Muqrin has been described as an “unimportant man, both as the Governor of Ha’il and as head of the intelligence. He remained inconsequential after being sacked and there is nothing worth pointing out in his record.” It is also said that Muqrin “is often preoccupied with women and alcohol, and has completely delegated his functions to his chief of staff, which led to catastrophic intelligence failures in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and even in simpler issues such as the case of Princess Sara Bint Talal, who sought asylum in Britain.”

One of the nice stories told about Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz is that while he was governor of Hail Province (1980-1999) on more than one occasion he was seen waiting at a red traffic light on his way to the governor’s office at eight o’clock in the morning.

Muqrin was appointed advisor and special envoy of King Abdullah in July 2012. He was named Second Deputy Prime Minister by King Abdullah on 01 February 2013. This appointment surprised some analysts, after he had been relieved as chief of the General Intelligence Directorate in July 2012. While no explanation was given for the decision, some assumed he was not up to the task of undermining the pro-Iranian Assad regime in Syria. This assumption may have been mistaken.

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Page last modified: 20-04-2016 20:18:24 ZULU