Abdullah Al-Harthi and Khaled Al-Faris
JEDDAH/RIYADH — Prince Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz expressed deep thanks to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for the trust reposed in him by appointing him as Second Deputy Premier.
In a telephonic statement to Okaz, a sister publication of Saudi Gazette, Prince Muqrin said: “I am proud of the trust and confidence of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. It is a trust that is dear to me and I will serve my religion, the King and the nation. It is a colossal task and I am looking forward to shouldering it.
“I will follow the directives of King Abdullah and I will do everything to serve the nation and citizens.
“King Abdullah is always keen on integrity in word and deed so as to serve the religion and the nation. The King’s guidelines will be a beacon that illuminates the road for us.”
Citizens welcomed the appointment of Prince Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz as Second Deputy Prime Minister.
A Royal Court decree issued Friday said that Prince Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz, Adviser and Special Envoy to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has been appointed Second Deputy Prime Minister with immediate effect.
“Prince Muqrin is a figure of international standing and has a good grasp of foreign affairs,” said a Saudi commentator.
“Prince Muqrin has significant political experience who is extremely firm on security,” Emad Mostaque, a strategist at Noah Capital Markets, was quoted as saying.
“We see this appointment as a strong positive (indicator) to the market.”
Many Saudis describe him as affable and courteous.
Prince Muqrin, who is 68 years old, is the youngest son of the late King Abdul Aziz, and headed Saudi intelligence until July.
Born in 1945, Prince Muqrin is a former Air Force officer who trained in Britain and later served as Emir of the Hail and Madinah regions.
He was made foreign intelligence chief in 2005 but was replaced last year by Prince Bandar Bin Sultan. Since being replaced as intelligence chief, Prince Muqrin has acted as an adviser to the King.
Cables of congratulations started pouring in with the news of his appointment. Among the first to congratulate was Bahrani Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa.
“It is my greatest pleasure to congratulate our dear brother Prince Muqrin for the high trust you have been granted by our dear brother Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to appoint you Second Deputy Premier,” said the congratulatory cable.