Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has appointed former intelligence chief Prince Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz second deputy prime minister.
Holders of the position have gone on in the past to be crown prince and third in line to lead the world’s top oil exporter
Muqrin, who is about 70, headed Saudi intelligence until he was replaced in July, and is the youngest son of the kingdom’s founder Abdul Aziz Bin Saud.
“His Royal Highness Prince Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, adviser and special envoy to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, is appointed second deputy to the prime minister,” said a Royal Court decree carried by the state news agency SPA.
The appointment announced by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) makes Prince Moqrin, 65, the third most powerful political figure in the Saudi kingdom.
Prince Moqrin was an advisor and personal envoy of the king, a post he held after he left as the general director of the country’s intelligence agency.
The Britain’s RAF College in Cranwell aeronautics graduate held several positions in the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) until 1980 when he was appointed Governor of Hail, a post he held until 1999. He was then appointed as Governor of Madinah Province where he developed the education and healthcare sectors.
In 2005, he was promoted as general director of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, becoming actively involved in critical Saudi foreign policy. He left the agency in July 2012 and became King Abdullah’s personal envoy.
- with inputs from Habib Toumi, Bahrain Bureau Chief