"The US is not anxious about the replacement because it can work with the crown prince in Saudi Arabia", he said. Saudi Arabia is the leader of a bloc of countries, including the UAE and Bahrain, that control sizable oil resources.
He also worked closely with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
The new role now formalizes the powers that Bin Salman had assumed with astonishing speed since his father ascended to the throne in January 2015.
Meanwhile, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud, 33, was named the new interior minister tasked with counterterrorism efforts and domestic security. A complex figure, he is the public face of crucial changes to Saudi Arabia's economy, and also of the country's lethal military intervention in neighboring Yemen.
According to the official, Mohammed bin Nayef supported the decision in a letter sent to the king.
A royal order said his appointment was endorsed by 31 of 34 members on the Council of Allegiance, which decides on succession issues.
Bernard Haykel, professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton, said the king's decision was aimed at avoiding a power struggle between his son and Mohammed bin Nayef by setting the line of succession clearly.
The expert also referred to the outrage of other Saudi princes with the elevation of bin Salman, adding, "From now on we would witness protests by Saudi Arabia's civil society, cultural classes and traditional religious sections".
Saudi Arabia led UAE, Bahrain and Egypt on June 5 in announcing severing all ties with Qatar in a major escalation to the rifts between Qatar and remaining Gulf countries. But the move to replace him risks triggering divisions within the ranks of the ruling Al Saud family, given the private concerns among some family members about the rise of the inexperienced Prince Mohammed.
Queen Elizabeth II outlines government program
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn denounced the speech, arguing that May had delivered a "threadbare" program devoid of new ideas. Her ministers have said some parts of the Conservative party manifesto would have to be "pruned" following the election result.
Seener predicted this would "spill over into Saudi Arabia's foreign policy", with the new crown prince favoring a more confrontational stance in particular with Iran, a major Shiite power.
Footage televised today showed Mohammed bin Nayef saying: "I am content".
Iran, which is predominantly Shia Muslim, and Saudi Arabia, which is mostly Sunni, compete for power and influence across the region.
Both discussed investment opportunities that turned into reality during Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia last month, in which the two states signed agreements worth around 280 billion USA dollars.
Saudis on Twitter launched a hashtag on pledging allegiance to the new crown prince.
He was appointed as the heir apparent by Salman on April 29, 2015.
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