Oman’s sultan congratulates Saudi crown prince

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Latest on Saudi Arabia’s King Salman appointing his son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

Oman’s sultan has congratulated Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said sent a message Wednesday to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The state-run Oman News Agency said the message expressed the sultan’s “sincere congratulations and best wishes of good health and happiness to Prince Mohammed, praying to Allah the Almighty to grant him success to achieve further aspirations of progress and welfare for the brotherly (Saudi) people.”

Oman has strained ties with Saudi Arabia over serving as a diplomatic channel for the West to Iran. Oman also has maintained communication with Shiite rebels in Yemen that a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting since March 2015.

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3:35 p.m.

Bahrain’s king and other royal family members have congratulated Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince.

The tiny island off the coast of Saudi Arabia sent several messages on Wednesday welcoming the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman. Chief among them was Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, relies on the aid of Saudi Arabia. Saudi and Emirati troops helped put down its 2011 Arab Spring protests, launched by Bahrain’s Shiite majority and others seeking more political freedoms from its Sunni rulers.

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3:30 p.m.

The Saudi stock market has closed up over 5.5 percent after news that King Salman appointed his 31-year-old son as next in line to the throne.

The Saudi Tadawul index, the largest in the Middle East, also was boosted by news on Wednesday that some benefits for civil servants were being restored.

The Tadawul also cleared a major hurdle from the global stock benchmark provider MSCI to be included among its emerging markets. That’s something closely followed by fund managers and could mean a lot more foreign investment coming into the kingdom.

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3 p.m.

The United…

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