New Saudi Crown Prince Is Counter-Terror Veteran

And though Nayef is a social conservative who is skeptical of the King's gradual efforts to improve women's rights and political participation, it was one of his security-driven initiatives that granted women ID cards and subsequently allowed them to register in universities, independently establish bank accounts and start businesses.

Succession in Saudi Arabia goes from brother to brother instead of from brother to son to minimize family feuds among the 37 sons of Saudi Arabia's founding King Abdul Aziz. Crown Prince Nayef is one of the seven most powerful brothers in the family whose mother was a favorite of the late founding king. The present king, Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz al Saud, is 87 years old and has been king since 2005.

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