King empowers next generation

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman. (SPA)

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman. (SPA)

Massive support for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


The Cabinet reshuffle announced by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Wednesday has now started the process of passing the reins of the country’s government to the next generation, particularly the grandsons of the Kingdom’s founder.

King Salman relieved Crown Prince Muqrin, deputy premier, of his position, at his request, and replaced him with Prince Mohammed bin Naif, who will retain the Interior Ministry portfolio and the chairmanship of the Council of Political and Security Affairs. This makes him the first grandson of the late King Abdulaziz to be named crown prince.

The royal decree also named another grandson, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as the deputy crown prince and second deputy premier. He will retain the Defense Ministry portfolio and chairmanship of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs.

In the royal decree, King Salman said that he had received a letter from Prince Muqrin outlining his desire to relinquish his position as crown prince. Praising Prince Muqrin, the king said he had agreed to the request.

The king said the appointment of the deputy crown prince was taken in terms of the procedures established by the late King Abdullah, which prioritizes the state’s interests “above all other considerations.”

He said Prince Mohammed bin Salman has shown everyone through his work that he has “great” abilities.

The decree stated that Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been able to perform his duties in an “optimal manner” and in accordance with Islamic law on transition of power. After taking charge on Wednesday, the new deputy crown prince met with the President of Eritrea Isaias Afwerki and had discussions on the two countries’ bilateral relations.

The Kingdom also appointed a new foreign minister after almost 40 years. Approving the request from Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the longest-serving foreign minister in the world, King Salman relieved him of his responsibilities on health grounds, and appointed Adel Al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, as the new minister.

However, Prince Saud will continue as a minister of state, Cabinet member, adviser and special envoy to the king, and supervisor of foreign affairs. The new Cabinet will also have a fulltime Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih, the head of Saudi Aramco. In addition, Mohammed Al-Jasser, minister of economy and planning, has been relieved of his position and appointed an adviser at the royal court at the rank of a minister.

Labor Minister Adel Fakeih has been appointed as the new minister of economy and planning to replace Al-Jasser, while Mufrej Al-Haqbani is now the new minister of labor. In addition, Khalid Al-Essa, deputy chief of the royal court, has been relieved of his post and appointed as minister of state and a member of the Council of Political and Security Affairs.

Abdulrahman Al-Hazza, president of the Radio and Television Commission, has been relieved of his post and replaced by Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Jasser, who will retain his position as deputy minister of culture and information.

Other important appointments include Sheikh Khalid Al-Yousef as chairman of the Board of Grievances at the rank of a minister, and Hamad Al-Suwailem as chief of the royal court at the rank of a minister.

Nasser Al-Shahrani has been appointed as deputy president of the Human Rights Commission; Amro bin Ibrahim Rajab as deputy chief of the Cabinet’s Bureau of Experts; and Mansour Al-Mansour as assistant general president of Youth Welfare.

Also, Saleh Al-Jasser has been appointed as adviser at the royal court. The king relieved other officials of their posts including Norah bint Abdullah Al-Fayez, deputy minister of education for girls, Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh, deputy minister of education for boys, Mansour Al-Hawasi, deputy minister of health for health affairs and Mohammed Khashim, deputy minister of health for planning and development.

The king also announced that all military and security personnel in “appreciation of their extraordinary services” would be getting a one-month salary bonus.

THE NEW CABINET

* Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman
Prime Minister

* Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif
Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior

* Prince Saud Al-Faisal
State minister, king’s special envoy and adviser and supervisor of foreign affairs

* Prince Mansour bin Miteb
Minister of State

* Prince Miteb bin Abdullah
National Guard Minister

* Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Defense Minister

* Saleh Al-Asheikh
Islamic Affairs Minister

* Azzam Al-Dakhil
Education Minister

* Walid Al-Samaani
Justice Minister

* Matlab Al-Nafeesa
Minister of State

* Musaed Al-Aiban
Minister Of State

* Ali Al-Naimi
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources

* Ibrahim Al-Assaf
Finance Minister

* Abdullah Al-Hussayen
Water and Electricity Minister

* Adel Fakeih
Minister of Economy and Planning

* Essam bin Saeed
Housing Minister

* Bandar Hajjar
Haj Minister

* Tawfiq Al-Rabiah
Commerce and Industry Minister

* Mohammed Abusaq
Minister of State for Shoura Affairs

* Abdullah Al-Muqbil
Minister of Transport

* Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel
Telecommunication and IT Minister

* Majed Al-Qassabi
Social Affairs Minister

* Saad Al-Jabri
Minister Of State

* Mufrej Al-Haqabani
Labor Minister

* Mohammed Abdul Malik Al-Asheikh
Minister Of State

* Abdul Lateef Al-Asheikh
Municipal and Rural Affairs Minister

* Khalid Al-Falih
Health Minister

* Adel Al-Jubeir
Foreign Minister

* Khaled Al-Araj
Minister of Civil Service

* Adel Al-Toraifi
Culture and Information Minister

* Abdul Rahman Al-Fadli
Agriculture Minister

* Khaled Al-Eissa
State Minister


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