Saudi Arabia names new defense minister

AP News

11/5/2011 2:35:00 PM - AP News

Saudi Arabia has named a new defense minister to replace the late crown prince who held the post.

King Abdullah appointed Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud minister of defense and aviation on Saturday. Prince Salman replaces Crown Prince Sultan, who died Oct. 22.

Born in 1935, Prince Salman had served as Riyadh governor for nearly 50 years. He is seen as third in line for the Saudi throne after newly named Crown Prince Nayef.

His new job will put him in charge of Saudi weapons deals and give him a greater role in foreign relations.

Salman is the brother of King Abdullah and one of a group of seven powerful sons of Saudi founder King Abdul-Aziz who are known as the "Sudairis" after their mother's tribe.