RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah promoted one of his sons as governor of the Riyadh region Wednesday, according to the Saudi Press Agency, an important post in which he will oversee the country's capital and be in direct contact with the world's top visiting officials and dignitaries.
The Saudi Press Agency carried the royal decree that said Prince Turki is the new Emir of the Riyadh region. The position was once held for more than 50 years by the current next-in-line to the throne, Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz.
King Abdullah recently appointed another son, Prince Mishaal, as Emir of Mecca. The moves reflect how the aging king has carefully promoted his sons to top positions since his ascension to the throne in 2005.
Wednesday's royal decree also said that Riyadh Gov. Khalid bin Bandar was appointed as deputy defense minister, taking the post that had been held by Prince Salman bin Sultan, whose father is the late crown prince. The Saudi Press Agency said Prince Salman was relieved of the post upon his request, but the royal decree carried by the agency did not say what position he now would take.
In Saudi Arabia, the throne passes from brother to brother rather than from father to son. King Abdullah already has outlived two appointed successors from among the elderly group of sons of Saudi Arabia's founding monarch.