Prince Naif has been appointed as the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. The announcement came as no surprise. Indeed, this is what was precisely expected. The appointment came as a natural sequel to Naifs elevation as the second deputy prime minister some time ago. What is interesting is the new method according to which the appointment was made. It came through the activation of the Allegiance Commission established by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for the purpose of regulating the process of choosing the king and his crown prince in a consistent way, taking into account various important factors that came up in the previous processes. The lessons of the past events were learned so that they would not be repeated in the future. By choosing Prince Naif, it is obvious that Saudi Arabia chose the path of stability. The prince was in charge of many important cases that had to do with the affairs of the state, in security and other matters, in which he made impressive achievements. But the most important characteristic of Prince Naif is that he is well known for being patient and sober while making a decision. He is also careful. And he sees the big picture without losing sight of the details. These are the characteristics of a security officer and a statesman at the same time. In my youth I came to know Prince Naifs character indirectly, through my late father, who was with him during the handling of the most infamous terrorist attack in the history of the Kingdom, when Juhayman Al Otaibi and his group stormed the Haram in Makkah. At that time my father was covering the event for the daily Okaz, at which he was an editor. At the same time he was performing a patriotic duty as a merchant and a person in charge of supplying lighting fixtures to help illuminate the Haram during that critical period. Prince Naf wanted to facilitate his mission, so he ordered that my father don a military uniform, and be given a mask to protect him against tear gas. My father told me many stories about the important decisions and actions taken by the prince, on which so much was written about in the news pages that I came to know as the most important journalistic documentation about the events of the period. Prince Naif was indeed the man of the hour. He managed the events expertly and with attention to detail, and he used to follow up on the progress of the events. Later I met the prince in various situations, and I came up with the same opinion. That event gave the prince an important background on how to deal with, and fight, terrorism. This background came in handy when the 9/11 attacks took place and the Al-Qaeda carried out a number of attacks in Saudi Arabia. As a result, the Saudi security apparatus had the upper hand in dealing with these events. It is important to remember that Prince Naif, being an important person in the state and its policy, played an essential part in all the decisions taken. We must remember also the foreign relations cultivated and made by the prince with various countries in the world, like Tunisia, Jordan, the Gulf states, Yemen, Egypt, and the other Arab, African and European countries. Saudi Arabia decided the question of the office of the crown prince in a smooth way that was in accordance with the protocol, and in a way that reassured people. We wish Prince Naif all the best in his new mission. Arab News