JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Saturday announced the appointment of Prince Khaled bin Salman as the new ambassador to the US.
Prince Khaled is an air force pilot who flew missions as part of the Saudi contribution to the anti-Daesh coalition. He replaces Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki, who served in the post for just over a year.
Among the other major decisions announced through a series of royal decrees on state television was the removal of Information and Cultural Minister Adel Al-Toraifi. He has been replaced by Dr. Awwad bin Al-Awwad, the ambassador to Germany.
Minister of Telecommunications and IT Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel has been replaced by Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha.
Civil Service Minister Khaled Al-Arj has been removed from his position.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has been named state minister for energy affairs.
In an interesting development, all regional governors will have deputies. A number of new deputies were announced.
A number of new governors were appointed. Hail Gov. Prince Saud bin Abdulmohsin has been replaced by Prince Abdulaziz bin Saad.
Northern Border Region Gov. Mishal bin Abdullah has been replaced by Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Sultan.
King Salman, through other royal decrees, restored financial allowances for civil servants and military personnel that had been cut under austerity measures.
“The royal order returns all allowances, financial benefits, and bonuses to civil servants and military staff,” said the decree.
In September, Saudi Arabia cut ministers’ salaries by 20 percent and scaled back financial perks for public sector employees in one of the most drastic measures to save money at a time of low oil prices.
A two-month salary bonus was announced for forces fighting on the frontline in Yemen.
The appointment of the new ambassador to the US was hailed by a Saudi lobbyist in the US.
Salman Al-Ansari, the president of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC), described Prince Khaled as a “very organized personality, savvy, youthful, and active.”
In other changes, Ibrahim Al-Omar has been named governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
Khalil Al-Thaqafi is the new chief of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME).
This year, all examinations have to be held before the month of Ramadan.
Under reforms being directed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia is trying to make government operations more efficient and officials more accountable.
The change came among a series of orders issued by the king, who shuffled his Cabinet and replaced the head of the army.
Prince Khaled replaces Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki who served in the post for just over a year, according to the website of the Saudi Embassy in Washington.
Among other orders issued by King Salman, the head of the army, Lt. Gen. Eid Al-Shalwi, was removed and named a consultant to the defense minister.
Fahad bin Turki was promoted to lieutenant general and will replace Al-Shalwi.