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Saudi king decrees half brother Moqren to be a future monarch

Published on Mar 28, 2014 1:52 AM

RIYADH (AFP) - Saudi Arabia’s 90-year-old King Abdullah on Thursday appointed his half-brother Moqren, 69, as the next heir to the throne of the world’s largest exporter of crude oil.‘

The decision, announced in a royal decree, comes as a source close to the circle of power told AFP that current Crown Prince Salman, 79, was sick and “may decide not to claim the throne” because of his ill health.

The decree did not mention Prince Salman, who is also defence minister of the strategic Gulf state.

Under the rules of succession in Saudi Arabia, power passes from brother to brother under the right of primogeniture among the sons of Abdul Aziz bin Saud, the kingdom’s founder.

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