New Saudi king makes cabinet reshuffle

2015-01-30 08:33
Newly enthroned Saudi King Salman. (SPA, AP)

Newly enthroned Saudi King Salman. (SPA, AP)

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Riyadh - Saudi Arabia's King Salman reshuffled on Thursday the monarchy's government less than a week after ascending to the throne of the oil-rich Western ally.

Prince Bandar, the former ambassador to the United States, was removed from his post as the head of the National Security Council and the body was dissolved.

Also, Prince Khaled bin Bander was replaced as the head of intelligence by Khaled al-Humaidan, an interior ministry official.

Adel al-Toraifi, recently appointed a top management post at the influential Saudi-owned al-Arabiya satellite station, was named as the new information minister.

Ahmed al-Khateeb was appointed as health minister, a key post that was vacant for parts of last year after the lethal MERS virus spread and former officials were sacked.

The monarch also replaced the governor of Riyadh, according to the decree which was reported by Saudi television.

Khaled al-Faysal was named as governor of Mecca, the city holy to Muslims, replacing a son of recently deceased King Abdullah.

However, another of the late monarch's sons, Miteb, kept his job as the head of the powerful National Guard, a unit his father built up and used to gain prominence.

In the new cabinet, the ministers of finance, oil and foreign ministries has kept their portfolios.

There had been speculation oil minister Ali al-Naimi would resign, having served in the post for two decades and was looking to retire.

Oil prices have hit recent lows, putting a strain on the economy and forcing the government to run a budget deficit.

King Abdullah, who reigned since 2005, died last week aged about 90 and was replaced by his half-brother Salman, who is about 79-years-old.

Read more on:    saudi arabia

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