Last updated: 14 March, 2012

Saudi crown prince test results reassuring

Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz went to Algeria for a vacation after the results of medical tests he underwent in the United States were “reassuring,” the royal palace announced on Wednesday.

Prince Nayef, the kingdom’s veteran internal security czar, “has finished previously scheduled medical tests in (the US city of) Cleveland with reassuring results,” said the statement carried by state news agency SPA.

His brother, Deputy Interior Minister Prince Ahmad bin Abdul Aziz, has affirmed that the crown prince “is well and is in good health,” a separate SPA statement said.

On Friday, the palace announced that Prince Nayef, who is also deputy prime minister and interior minister, arrived in Cleveland from Morocco for medical examinations, without specifying what they were for.

Prince Nayef — who has served as interior minister for nearly four decades and led the kingdom’s post-September 11, 2001 crackdown on Al-Qaeda — was named crown prince in October last year at the age of 78, following the death of Prince Sultan, another of his brothers.

In recent years, he has spent an increasing proportion of his time at his palace in Morocco after handing over day-to-day security activities to his son, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is also deputy interior minister.

Seen as more conservative than the 87-year-old king, Prince Nayef is a staunch defender of the Saudi dynasty who has resisted any form of opposition.