Addiction And Intrigue: Inside The Saudi Palace Coup
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 ordered Mohammed bin Nayef to step aside in favour of Mohammed bin Salman
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.
“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.
Palace officials declined to respond to detailed questions about the circumstances surrounding MbN’s overthrow.
Sources with knowledge of the situation said however that the king was determined to elevate his son to be heir to the throne and used MbN’s drug problem as a pretext to push him aside.
Three royal insiders, four Arab officials with links to the ruling house of Saud, and diplomats in the region, told Reuters that MbN was surprised to be ordered to step aside.