Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief and confidante of King Abdullah, Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, has been appointed the country’s second deputy prime minister.
The government post essentially positions Prince Muqrin as second in line to the Saudi throne, behind current Crown Prince Salman.
The late Crown Prince Nayef, who passed away in June 2012, was the last person to hold the post.
Prince Muqrin is the youngest son of the kingdom’s founder Abdulaziz ibn Saud. Born in Riyadh in 1945, Muqrin was educated at RAF College in Cranwell in the UK and later served as a commander in the Saudi Air Force.
He also served as governor of Hail province for 19 years. In 1999, he was named governor of Medina province, before assuming control of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, Al Mukhabarat Al A’amah, in 2005.
In his new role, the prince will assume the day-to-day running of government in the absence or ill health of King Abdullah and Prince Salman.
Prince Muqran is perceived as a moderate and advocates good relations with Western powers, particular the UK and the United States.