Sources in the Royal family in Riyadh disclosed that Saudi King Salman bin Abdolaziz al-Saud has pre-recorded a statement to soon abandon power in favor of his son Mohammed bin Salman in the next few weeks as former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef is still under house arrest.
According to Reuters, with Mohammad Bin Salman’s sudden ascent, there is now speculation among diplomats and Saudi and Arab officials that King Salman is poised to abdicate in favor of his son.
Quoting a witness at the palace, one Saudi source said that King Salman this month pre-recorded a statement in which he announces the transfer of the throne to his son. The announcement could be broadcast at any time, perhaps as soon as September.
Also, the source close to Mohammed Bin Nayef disclosed that he would like to take his family to Switzerland or London but the king and his son had decided that he must stay, adding that “he wasn’t given any choice.”
A source close to Mohammed Bin Nayef also announced that he remains under house arrest to keep him out of circulation following his overthrow, with no visitors allowed except close family members. He is not taking calls. In the past week he was only granted permission to visit his elderly mother with the new guards assigned to him.
According to a report, on June 20 Mohammed bin Nayef was summoned to meet King Salman on the fourth floor of the royal palace in Mecca.
There, according to a source close to Nayef, as he is known, the king ordered him to step aside in favor of the king’s favorite son because of his alleged drug addiction.
“The king came to meet Mohammed bin Nayef 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’,” the source close to bin Nayef said.
At dawn bin Nayef gave up, telling a palace adviser that he was ready to see the king. The meeting was short and bin Nayef agreed to step down and signed a document to that effect.
According to the adviser, when Mohammad bin Nayef left the king’s quarters, he was surprised to see Mohammad bin Salman waiting for him. bin Nayef was embraced and kissed by bin Salman while television cameras rolled.
The source close to Mohammed bin Nayef acknowledged that he had health issues, which were aggravated after an al-Qaeda attacker tried to blow himself up in front of him in his palace in 2009. The health issues were corroborated by three other sources in Saudi Arabia and Arab official sources with links to the royal family.
The sources also announced that bin Nayef had shrapnel in his body that could not be removed and he depended on drugs such as morphine to alleviate the pain, as, according to one source, he had been treated in clinics in Switzerland on three occasions in recent years.
Fars News Agency (FNA) could not independently confirm Mohammed bin Nayef’s addiction issues but it had earlier this month reported the possibility of Saudi king’s leaving power to his son.