Saudi Arabia's King Salman appoints new foreign minister in sweeping Cabinet reshuffle

Ibrahim Al-Assaf has been appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs. (File photo AFP)
Updated 28 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman appoints new foreign minister in sweeping Cabinet reshuffle

  • Ibrahim Al-Assaf was named Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position formally held by Adel Al-Jubeir
  • Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz was named Minister of National Guard

RIYADH: King Salman appointed a new foreign minister on Thursday in a wide-ranging reshuffle of Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet. The changes were widely expected within the Saudi political and media circles, given that the previous cabinet has surpassed its four year tenure.

Ibrahim Al-Assaf was named Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position formally held by Adel Al-Jubeir, who was appointed as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

Assaf previously served as finance minister for two decades until 2016. In July 2017, he led the Saudi delegation to the G20 meeting in Hamburg. Assaf was detained briefly in 2017 as part of an anti corruption crackdown but was cleared of any wrongdoing.

The royal decree, announced live on television by the king, revealed a string of new appointments.

Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz was named Minister of National Guard, and Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Ghofeily was relieved as National Guard advisor.

Khaled Al-Harbi was appointed head of the Public Security Directorate in place of Saud bin Abdul Aziz Hilal.

Musaed Al Aiban was appointed as Saudi Arabia's National Security adviser.

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal was appointed as chairman of the General Sports Authority in place of Turki Al Asheikh, who was appointed as the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority. 

Prince Sultan bin Salman was relieved as president of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), and was replaced by Ahmad Al-Khateeb.

A new entity called the General Commission for Exhibitions and Conferences is to be set up, and its CEO will be appointed by royal decree.

The Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majed Al-Qassabi will also be responsible for the General Commission for Exhibitions and Conferences

Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, the Kingdom's ambassador in London, was relieved of his post.

Turki Al-Shabana was appointed as Minister of Media, and Hamad Al-Sheikh was appointed as Minister of Education.

Ahmed bin Mohammad Al-Issa, who was relieved as Minister of Education, was appointed as a Royal Court advisor and head of the Saudi Public Education Evaluation Commission.

Awad bin Saleh Al Awad, who was relieved as Minister of Media, has been appointed as a Royal Court advisor. 

Iman Al-Mutairi was appointed as assistant to the Minister of Commerce. 

Turki bin Talal replaced Faisal bin Khaled as the governor of the Asir region. 

Prince Badr bin Sultan was relieved of his post and replaced by Prince Faisal bin Nawaf as the governor of Al-Jouf region.

Mansour bin Mohammad bin Saad Al Saud was appointed as Hafr Al-Batin’s governor.  

Badr bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was appointed as Deputy Governor of the Makkah Region. 

Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed was appointed as a Royal Court Advisor.


Islamic, European officials plan support for Sudan

Updated 55 min 52 sec ago
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Islamic, European officials plan support for Sudan

JEDDAH: Support for Sudan in the wake of a new deal on civilian rule was among items discussed during a meeting between leading Islamic and European officials in Saudi Arabia.
The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, received Finnish foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto, in Jeddah. Finland currently holds the rotational presidency of the Council of the EU.
Al-Othaimeen and Haavisto had a constructive exchange of views on common issues with particular focus on Sudan after civilian and military leaders signed an agreement aimed at installing a civilian administration.
The deal came after three months of deadlock since Omar Bashir was deposed as president, and the two officials discussed ways to back Khartoum in its transitional phase.
The secretary-general commended the role of Finland and the EU in promoting peace, security, stability and development in different parts of the world and expressed the OIC’s readiness to engage in issues of mutual interest.
Haavisto praised the role of the OIC in promoting the culture of peace, dialogue and understanding, noting the organization’s vast experience in leading peace building initiatives among its member states in collaboration with other partners.