A prominent Saudi prince, who is said to want King Salman bin Abdulaziz replaced, refused to meet recently with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, signaling a serious breach in the Saudi royal family and the potential for civil war, a Middle East expert has told G2 Bulletin. Sources previously have told G2 Bulletin that the Saudi kingdom is on the verge of an internal rupture, a latent development in the so-called Arab Spring that has led to violent changes in Egypt, Libya, Syria and Bahrain.

The recent Saudi execution of the prominent Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr has further inflamed relations with Shiite Iran. Massive demonstrations have taken place not only in Iran but in Saudi Arabia among its Shiite minority, which lives mainly in the country’s oil-producing Qatif region. The Middle East source, a Shiite who insisted on anonymity, said his contacts in Saudi Arabia said the Chinese leader didn’t meet with Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef. However, Xi did meet with Nayef’s deputy, Mohammad bin Salman, the son of King Salman who is said to have ambitions of toppling Nayef and replacing him as the heir apparent. FULL REPORT