Washington touts US-Saudi ties in midst of leadership changes in Riyadh

By REUTERS
April 29, 2015 23:06

 
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Saudi King Salman appointed a new heir and made his young son second in line to rule on Wednesday, a major shift in power towards two princes who have overseen a more assertive stance at a time of almost unprecedented regional turmoil.

By making Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, crown prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, 30, deputy crown prince, King Salman has effectively decided the line of succession for decades to come in the world's top oil exporter.

The appointments signal a tougher foreign policy, particularly towards regional foe Iran, but little change to a firm hand against dissent at home, where Riyadh this week said it had detained 93 suspected Islamic State militants.

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