JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has appointed Thamer Al-Sabhan minister of state for the Gulf region.
Al-Sabhan left his position as the Saudi ambassador to Iraq after exerting efforts to support the Iraqi people and delivering Saudi humanitarian aid to some Iraqi villages.
Al-Sabhan’s new assignment was announced in a royal decree issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, and carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Sunday.
The royal decree read: “In accordance with the system of ministers, deputy ministers and government employees in excellent grades issued by a royal decree No. M/10 dated 18/3/1391, and in accordance with the royal decree No. A/14 dated 3/3/1414, we order the appointment of Thamer bin Sabhan bin Al-Sabhan as minister of state for the Gulf region in the excellent grade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Second: the competent body will be notified to adopt the decision and for its enforcement.”
The diplomat had earlier claimed that Iranian-backed Shiite militias were plotting to assassinate him through members of “Mourtadha Abboud Ellami” group at the behest of “Abu Mahdi Al-Mouhandis” and the leaders of “Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq,” and especially the groups led by Akram Al-Kaabi.
After the failed assassination plots against the Saudi ambassador, Aws Al-Khafaji, a leader of one of the Shiite factions, the Abu Al-Fadl Al-Abbas militia, said in TV remarks that Al-Sabhan’s hostility toward Iraq is clear and that the militia does not want him to stay in Iraq.
In his Twitter account, Al-Sabhan hoped that Abdul Aziz Al-Shimari would succeed in his new position as Saudi charge d'affaires in Baghdad.
Sadaqa Fadil, a senior member of the Shoura Council, said the former Saudi ambassador to Iraq has succeeded in enhancing the Saudi policy in Iraq. Al-Sabhan had an effective role that troubled the Iranian influences in this Arab country.
Speaking to Arab News, Sadaqa Fadil confirmed that the Kingdom will not change its policy in Iraq. Saudi Arabia will continue to support the Iraqi people, while the decision of removing ambassadors doesn’t always mean changing foreign policy toward the country.