Saudi king appoints new foreign minister in major cabinet reshuffle

The decree has also removed the kingdom's ambassador to the UK

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud attends the 2019 budget meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 18, 2018. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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Saudi King Salman issued a royal order on Thursday demanding a cabinet reshuffle, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The royal decree appoints former Finance Minister Ibrahim Al Assaf as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and assigns former foreign affairs minister Adel Al-Jubeir, to the post of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

The order also calls for Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz to replace Prince Miteb bin Abdullah as chief of the National Guard, and named General Kalid bin Qirar Al Harbi as general security chief. Musaed al-Aiban was appointed national security adviser.

The order also demands a reorganisation of the Council of Political and Security Affairs, one of two sub-Cabinet committees in government, which is composed of the head of Intelligence and nine ministers.

It also calls for the reorganisation of the second sub-Cabinet committee - The Council of Economic and Development Affairs - to which 22 ministers report.

The decree also appoints a woman -- Eiman Al Mutairi -- to the post of assistant to the Minister of Commerce and Investment. The move comes as part of a wider attempt to include more women in government.

Her appointment was widely praised by Saudis on social media networks.

The reasons for the reshuffle were not immediately clear.


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The SPA said the royal order also relieved the kingdom's ambassador to the UK, Mohammed bin Nawwaf, from his post and reassigned him as an advisor to the Saudi king.

Prince Faisal bin Khalid has also been removed as governor of the Asir Region, the SPA said, adding that the decision came at his request. He was appointed instead as an advisor to the king with the rank of a Minister, the SPA said.

Turki bin Talal was assigned to the post of Asir governor, the SPA said.

The royal order also removed Sultan bin Salman from his post as head of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and appointed him as the head of a new Saudi Space Commission, which was announced in Thursday’s royal decree

Badr bin Sultan has been replaced by Faisal bin Nawaf as Governor of Jouf region.

Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal has replaced Turki Al Sheikh as president of the Sports Authority, while Turki Al Sheikh has been appointed as Chairman of the Entertainment Authority.

Turki Shabbaneh has been appointed as Minister of Media, while Hamad Al Sheikh was appointed Minister of Education.