Liberal-leaning Saudi Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, a half brother of King Abdullah, announced on Wednesday his resignation from the council charged with deciding the royal succession.
"Prince Talal announces his resignation from the Council of Allegiance after having informed King Abdullah," his website said, without giving any details.
The council was created in 2006 to ensure a peaceful transfer of power in the ultra-conservative oil power-house.
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Talal's resignation comes just weeks after the interior minister, 78-year-old Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, was named heir after the death of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz.
Born in 1935, Prince Talal is the father of billionaire business tycoon Prince Al-Walid bin Talal.
He is known for his activities supporting human development, particularly in the areas of education and health.