Former Crown Prince Salman is the new king of Saudi Arabia.
Former Crown Prince Salman is the new king of Saudi Arabia.Reuters

Following the death of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabian state television has reported that crown prince and the late king's brother Salman bin Abdulaziz will succeed him.

The Royal Court statement, which announced his ascendancy to the throne, also clarified that he has received the pledge of allegiance as the country's king from members of the royal family.

Seen as an open-minded ruler, Prince Salman, who also serves as the Defence Minister and Prime Minister, has been chairing cabinet meetings for several months and handling almost all foreign travel responsibilities for the monarchy ever since he became the heir apparent, following the death of crown prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz.

Before becoming the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, he was the governor of Riyadh province for 48 years, making him famous for "good governance and eradicating corruption", according to The Daily Beast.

Owing to most members of the Saudi royal family living in Riyadh, he also made sure that the transformation of the city – from 2 lakh residents in 1963 to about 7 million now – was dealt with smoothly and quietly with no publicity, earning him the tag of "family sheriff".  

Prince Salman is also known to share the "progressive and practical" traits of his brother, the late King Adbullah. 

According to Time, although his legitimacy to the throne is unquestioned and his capabilities as a ruler well-known, paving way for a smooth transition, the deteriorating health of the 79-year-old makes it seem unlikely that he would be able to rule for as long as his elder sibling.

King Salman's crown prince and heir will be his half-brother Prince Muqrin, who is also reputed to be committed to cautious reforms, much like King Abdullah and King Salman.