Saudi deputy Premier and Minister of Defense Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz al-Saud arriving to inaugurate the works of the third year of the sixth session of the Al-Shura Council in Riyadh, January 6, 2015. (AFP/SPA/HO)
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Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz is no stranger to confronting a crisis.As King Abdullah battles pneumonia in a Riyadh hospital, Prince Salman is the man next in line to rule the world's largest oil exporter as sectarian, political and economic turmoil roils the Middle East.King Abdullah, born in 1924, has ruled Saudi Arabia since 2005 .Prince Salman, defense minister since 2011, was chosen by Abdullah as his successor a year later.Choosing the right successor will be "a very important challenge" for Prince Salman, said Jordan, who served as ambassador in Riyadh from 2001 to 2003 .Prince Salman first must deal with security. Prince Salman was born in the Saudi capital on Dec. 31, 1935 .
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