A nephew of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has abruptly resigned from all his posts, in what could be another sign of the widening rift within the ruling Saudi family.
Prince Khaled bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud announced his resignation from all his administrative, honorary and commercial posts in a statement on social media, reports said Sunday.
According to the reports, the prince said he was resigning to preserve the interests of Saudi Arabia, and because he did not want “to create a controversy.” He said he also had personal reasons for the resignation. He did not elaborate any further but said, “if forced,” he would declare why he resigned at a later time.
Khaled bin Talal bin Abdulaziz is the third son of Talal bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi king’s brother. He is also the brother of prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a media mogul.
Last year, a Saudi prince told The Guardian that there is disquiet among the royal family at the leadership of King Salman, who assumed the throne in January 2015 after the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Saudi Arabia has come under renewed criticism over its human rights record under Salman as well as its ongoing military aggression against Yemen, which has killed at least 10,000 people so far.
The war is directed by Saudi Defense Minister and deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the king’s young, inexperienced son who received the high positions after his father’s accession to the throne. Reports say Mohammed’s special position is itself a source of tension within the ruling family in Saudi Arabia.
The country’s economy has also been adversely affected by the costs of the war on Yemen and by plummeting oil prices, themselves a result of the Riyadh government’s earlier market maneuvers against the US shale oil as well as Iran.