King Salman reshuffles Cabinet, Assaf new foreign minister

Political, economic bodies revamped

December 27, 2018

RIYADH — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman appointed Ibrahim Al-Assaf as Foreign Minister and Adel Al-Jubeir as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in a sweeping Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday.

Makkah Deputy Emir Prince Abdullah Bin Bandar has been appointed as Minister of the National Guard, Turki Al-Shabanah as Minister of Media, while Hamad Al-Sheikh has been given education portfolio.

The King issued a series of royal decrees, including a decree to restructure the Council of Political and Security Affairs, with Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman as chairman comprising 10 members. The Council of Economic and Development Affairs has also been reconstituted with Crown Prince as chairman consisting of 25 members.

Another decree was issued to create the Court of the Council of Ministers, to which various bodies such as General Secretariat and Experts Commission of the Council of Ministers will be affiliated.

Prince Turki Bin Talal has replaced Prince Faisal Bin Khalid as emir of the Asir region. Prince Faisal has been appointed adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the rank of a minister.

Prince Badr Bin Sultan has been replaced by Prince Faisal Bin Nawaf as emir of Jouf region. Prince Badr Bin Sultan is the new deputy emir of Makkah. Prince Mansour Bin Muhammad has been appointed governor of Hafar Al-Batin region.

Eman Bint Hebas Al-Mutairi is the new woman face in the Cabinet. She has been appointed assistant minister of commerce and investment. Hindi Bin Abdullah Al-Suhaimi has been appointed assistant minister of finance, replacing Muhammad Bin Hamoud Al-Mazeed. Yousuf Bin Muhammad was named deputy minister of Islamic affairs, call and guidance.

Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Qasabi is the acting minister of municipal and rural affairs. The outgoing Minister of Education Ahmad Al-Issa and Minister of Media Awwad Al-Awwad have been appointed as advisers at the Royal Court in the rank of a minister. Al-Issa was also named chairman of the board of Education Evaluation Commission.

Hamad Al-Sheikh, the new minister of education, served earlier as deputy minister and has been adviser at the Royal Court since 2017.

The new Minister of Media Al-Shabanah is an eminent media figure in the Arab world. He started his career as attorney in US and held the position of head of the United Press Legal Department, Al-Shabanah established Khalijia channel. He served as LBC Channels Network director and at present chairman of Rotana TV Channels.

The King appointed three new members to the Shoura Council. They are Muhammad Bin Hamoud Al-Mazie, Hazaa Bin Bakr Al-Qahtani, and Bandar Bin Muhammad Aseeri.

In separate decrees, King Salman also made key appointments. Musaed Al-Aiban has been appointed as National Security Adviser, replacing Muhammad Al-Ghufaili. Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal has replaced Turki Al-Sheikh as president of the General Sports Authority, while Turki Al-Sheikh has been appointed as chairman of the Entertainment Authority.

Gen. Khalid Bin Qarar Al-Harbi has been appointed the director of Public Security, replacing Lt. Gen. Saud Bin Abdulaziz Hilal, who has now been given the role of adviser at the ministry of interior. Prince Muhammad Bin Nawaf has been relieved from his post of Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom and appointed as an adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the rank of a minister.

The new appointments also include Anef Bin Ahmad Abanemi as president of Saudi Post, Ihsan Bafakeeh as governor of the Real Estate General Authority, Abdul Ilah Bin Saad, assistant president of General Sports Authority, and Ibrahim Al-Matroodi, deputy president of the Court of Grievances, replacing Ali Al-Hammad.

Prince Sultan heads new Space Authority

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman issued a decree to establish the Saudi Space Authority. Prince Sultan Bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), has been moved from the commission and appointed as chairman of the board of directors of the Space Authority. The authority shall have a board of directors appointed by a royal order. Ahmad Al-Khateeb is the new president of SCTH.

The King also ordered creation of General Authority for Exhibitions and Conventions. The authority will have a board of directors appointed by a royal decree. Majed Al-Qasabi will be appointed as chairman of the board. Another royal decree was issued to establish the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority and Ghassan Al-Shibl appointed chairman of its board of directors.

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