Addiction and intrigue: Inside the Saudi palace coup

by
July 20, 2017

The widow of Youssef Abdullah, one of at least 22 Egyptians found dead earlier this month, perishing from heat and starvation after trekking the Libyan desert by foot, holds her son in the village of Tarfa al-Kom in Minya province, Egypt, July 12, 2017.  Picture taken July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

On Tuesday June 20 Mohammed bin Nayef, a powerful figure in Saudi Arabia’s security apparatus for the past two decades and the next in line to the throne, was summoned to meet King Salman bin Abdulaziz on the fourth floor of the royal palace in Mecca.

There, according to a source close to MbN, as he is known, the king ordered him to step aside in favour of the king’s favourite son, Mohammed bin Salman. The reason: an addiction to painkilling drugs was clouding MbN’s judgment.

“The king came to meet MbN and they were alone in the room. He told him: ‘I want you to step down, you didn’t listen to the advice to get treatment for your addiction which dangerously affects your decisions’,” said the source close to MbN.

The new details about the extraordinary meeting between the king and MbN that touched off the de facto palace coup help to explain the events that are reshaping the leadership of the world’s biggest oil exporting nation.

  • Ken says

    If that is the case – the old King is a smart man.

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