IN SUCCESS

Prince Muqrin's appointment has stabilized the line of succession within the Royal family.

HRH Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the youngest son of Saudi Arabia's founder, King Abdulaziz Al Saud, involved in high-level royal affairs. He has held several important positions over the years, although his recent ascent to the third most important political position in the country was rapid. Most recently, he served as the director of the Saudi intelligence services (GIP) from 2005 to 2012, when he was appointed as King Abdullah's envoy and special advisor. He has also served as the Governor of Hail and Medina.

Born in 1945, he may yet become the man who makes ultimate decisions regarding the transfer of power to the next generation of princes. He was educated at Britain's RAF College, and also earned a Master's degree in Military Science. He served in the Saudi Air Force, and worked his way up through the ranks, eventually becoming responsible for operations and planning throughout the organization.

As Director of the GIP he became instrumental in the conduct of King Abdullah's foreign policy. He exercised particular influence in Saudi Arabia's foreign policy in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and became a regular visitor to both countries.

The Prince's education and experience abroad have given him strong ties to some of the nation's most important allies. This extensive international experience makes him well suited for the job of third in command. Prince Muqrin is well regarded by the Saudi public, and besides his diplomatic credentials also oversaw important modernizations in Medina and Hail during his time as Governor.

He introduced e-government to both regions, a system that promoted transparency and dialogue. His religious credentials are reinforced by his post in Medina, an important consideration for a leader in Saudi Arabia. Upon his appointment, many foreign leaders and diplomats congratulated the Prince, including the Prime Minister of Bahrain and other figures from around the region.

Prince Muqrin's appointment has stabilized the line of succession within the Royal family. The clarity that King Abdullah has introduced through Prince Muqrin is a positive factor for the country's future. Its next leader will inherit great responsibility from the King. He will have to complete the implementation of extensive reforms aimed at reducing unemployment, diversifying and liberalizing the country's economy to interact smoothly with international markets.

After the announcement, in mid-2014, that the Saudi Stock Exchange would be opened up to foreign institutional investors, it's clear that these reforms are now in full swing. Their long-term success rests with King Abdullah's successor. Prince Muqrin is well equipped to ensure the success of the King's legacy, and his appointment promises that the King's vision of the nation will endure into the next generation of rulers.