Al Arabiya TV reports that Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has named Prince Muqrin as Second Deputy Prime Minister. That position, behind that of Crown Prince Salman, has been — in the past — a marker for who’s next in the line of succession. Whether that is still the case now that the Allegiance Council — which is to determine succession on an as-needed basis — is in place is an open question. It’s likely, however, that this is indeed what it means.

Prince Muqrin, a half-brother to the King, is 68 years old, the youngest of the senior princes. He resigned from his position as Director General of Saudi Intelligence last year.

Saudi king appoints his advisor as prime minister’s second deputy
Al Arabiya

Saudi King Abdullah has appointed his advisor and special envoy with the rank of minister to be the prime minister’s second deputy, Saudi Press Agency reported Friday.

Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, 68, who was appointed as the king’s advisor in 2012, was director of the General of Intelligence from 2005 to 2012. He graduated with a degree in aeronautics in 1968 from Britain’s RAF College in Cranwell.

He was known for his reconciliation efforts in Pakistan and was reported to be in favor of sanctions as opposed to military action against Iran.

Since January, King Abdullah has started with many reforms including allowing women to be members in the kingdom’s Shura Council for the first time.

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