Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman kisses the hand of Prince Mohammad bin Nayef in Mecca. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS
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Saudi Arabia's once powerful counterterrorism czar, Prince Mohammad bin Nayef, was removed from the line of succession – giving the younger prince a firmer hold on the kingdom's foreign policies, including its close ties with U.S. President Donald Trump, its rivalry with Iran, its more than 2-year-old war in Yemen and its punishing moves to isolate Qatar.Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, congratulated King Salman and Prince Mohammad in a cable to the Saudi leadership and called for "brotherly relations" between the two countries.After decades in which the same small group of princes handled Saudi affairs on the world stage, Prince Mohammad has led diplomacy with global powers, reportedly charming both Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.The position is relatively new in Saudi Arabia, where kings have traditionally chosen their own successors.
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