Fast Food Chains Are Now Pledging Allegiance To New Saudi Crown Prince

US President Donald Trump with Prince Mohammed bin Salman now installed as Saudi Arabia's crown prince in March

The Saudi Press Agency said al-Bashir congratulated the Crown Prince for his selection adding that the meeting reviewed cooperation between the Saudi Arabia and Sudan in various fields, and discussed developments in the region.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman made his son his successor on Wednesday, removing his nephew as crown prince and giving the 31-year old nearly unprecedented powers as the world's leading oil exporter implements transformational reforms.

The king called on governors and other princes to pledge allegiance to his new heir and ordered a ceremony after night prayers on Wednesday at a royal palace in Makkah.

The previous crown prince, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the king's nephew and a counter-terrorism chief admired in Washington for putting down an Al-Qaeda campaign of bombings in 2003 to 2006, was relieved of all his posts, according to the decree.

Despite his ambitions, the prince has faced criticism for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has failed to dislodge Iranian-allied rebels known as Houthis from the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and has had devastating effects on the impoverished country.

For many Saudis those changes have become inextricable from the person of Prince Mohammed, whose photographs adorns walls, vehicle windows and advertising hoardings across the country and who has assumed a startling array of powers.

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Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, meanwhile, congratulated Saudi Arabia's newly-appointed crown prince, urging "brotherly relations" between the two countries.

Risky regional conflicts are also a challenge, as Saudi Arabia and Iran compete for dominance in countries like Yemen, Saudi's southern neighbor, which has been devastated by a Saudi-led air campaign to quell an uprising that the Saudis say is backed by Iran. Prince Mohammed bin Salman replied: "We will not give up taking your guidance and advice".

Prince Mohammed's rise comes at a crucial time for Saudi Arabia which is in a battle for regional influence with arch-rival Iran, bogged down in a controversial military intervention in neighbouring Yemen and at loggerheads with fellow US Gulf ally Qatar.

The move will have wide-ranging implications for Saudi Arabia.

Although he is still in his youth, Mohammed bin Salman has for a long time held senior government positions and has been at the forefront of the kingdom's plans to wean itself off oil as one of economic strategies that were launched a year ago. While bin Nayef fell into a diminished role.

"There's a danger that his foreign policy instincts, that do tend to be aggressive, especially toward Iran, but also toward Sunni extremism, might end up distracting from what he wants to get done economically", said a former Obama administration official, referring to "Vision 2030", MbS's signature economic and social reform agenda. The Council is comprised of senior princes who gather in secret and vote to pick the king and crown prince from among themselves. Rights groups say Saudi forces have killed scores of civilians and have called on the USA, as well as the United Kingdom and France, to halt the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that could be used in the Yemen war.

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