Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah prepared to bury his former heir, Crown Prince Nayef, on Sunday before naming a new successor at a challenging time for the world's top oil exporter and self-styled steward of Islam.
The crown prince's body arrived in Jeddah on Sunday a day after his death, where it was met at King Khaled Airport by a host of Saudi princes.
Among them was the most likely candidate to take the position to succeed the 89-year-old king is Prince Salman, 76, another son of Saudi Arabia's founder Abdulaziz ibn Saud.
The new crown prince will become heir to a king who is aged 89 at a time when Saudi Arabia faces a variety of challenges at home and abroad.
Although the Interior Ministry, which the late Nayef headed for 37 years, crushed al Qaeda inside Saudi Arabia its Yemeni wing has sworn to topple the ruling al-Saud family and has plotted attacks against the kingdom.