He replaces Muhammad bin Fahd, son of former King Fahd, who resigned at his own request. One of the position’s key tasks is security. Prince Sa’ud served as the Crown Prince’s special adviser and chief of the court, and had been the Saudi ambassador to Spain.

Prince Sa’ud is a brother of Prince Muhammad bin Nayif, who was named Interior Minister by King ‘Abd Allah in November (MEES, 9 November 2012). Prince Sa’ud’s appointment deepens the Nayif family’s key role in the Kingdom’s security. As deputy interior minister, US-trained Prince Muhammad successfully managed counter-terrorism efforts. The two princes also have to manage the kingdom’s restive Shi’ite minority, which wants an end to discrimination against their sect. (Governors report directly to the king, so do the ministers). Dr Tawfiq al-Saif, a prominent Eastern Province writer, tells MEES: “My thinking is that this change is mainly about personalities not about policies. I don’t think it will make a significant change in the relationship between the state and society.” (CONTINUED - 632 WORDS)