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>> Politics sweeping the corridors of the palace, as Saudi Arabia's king announced the surprise reshuffle Wednesday. Stripping nephew Mohammad bin Nayef of his powers as crown prince, and replacing him with his own much younger son, Mohammad bin Salman. Talks of division apparently dispelled with the peer team praising each other on Saudi State TV.
Reuter's Stephen Kalin is watching events from Dubai.>> This really clarifies a lot. In the past few years there's been a lot of speculations that there were tensions between Mohammed bin Nayef and Mohammed bin Salman. That they were squabbling over who would be next in line. This really takes Muhammad bin Nayef completely out of the picture.
It removes him from the succession.>> The appointment potentially reshaping the kingdom's policies, with the 31-year-old, who's a fan of reducing the countries dependence on oil, bringing a fresh approach. His relative youth also a significant factor in a kingdom more used to leaders from the older generation. While no explanation was given for Muhammad bin Nayef's sacking, it comes at a time of heightened regional tensions.
>> People close to the royal family suspected that the suspension was going to happen. The timing comes in a bit of a surprise though as Saudi Arabia is locked in a dispute with neighboring Qatar for the past few weeks, so it's been a very tense time in the region.
>> Prince Mohamed is no stranger to politics or power. Last month he criticized Iran, accusing it of seeking to take over the Muslim world. On Wednesday Iranian state media called the changes at the top a soft coup. Muhammad bin Salman will also retain his position as Defense Minister, which has seen him spearhead the Saudi-led offensive in Yemen.
While ultimately cementing his position as the kingdom's next ruler, a role which holds near absolute authority.