The appointment of Prince Muqrin as second deputy prime minister has been welcomed by all sections of Saudi society.

The prince will take over the post immediately following an order by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah yesterday.

As soon as the news of the appointment broke, congratulatory messages started pouring in.

In one of the first such messages, Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa said: “It is my greatest pleasure to congratulate you for the high trust reposed in you by our dear brother King Abdullah …”

Ibrahim Al-Qayid, a member of the executive council of the National Society for Human Rights, said: “The appointment of Prince Muqrin by King Abdullah is indeed a commendable choice.”

Prince Muqrin, in his new role, will be in charge of the day-to-day running of the government, if both King Abdullah, who is also the prime minister, and Crown Prince Salman, travel abroad.

The position of the second deputy primer had been left vacant when King Abdullah ascended to the throne.

Ahmed Al-Fathi of King Saud University, said the appointment is “a clear sign of continuity and stability of the Kingdom as it continues through a period of internal economic transformation in a region that has become deeply troubled with strife.”

Prince Muqrin, Al-Fathi said, has been characterized widely as “a pragmatist.”

Ibrahim Al-Dobaiyan, a Saudi businessman, said “Prince Muqrin is liked by everyone in this country.”

The prince has always extended a helping hand to anyone who approached him for support, he added.

Prince Muqrin, the king’s younger brother, is also known for his love for books and is fond of literature and Arabic poetry.

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