Saudi king appoints new foreign minister in major cabinet reshuffle

Saudi king appoints new foreign minister in major cabinet reshuffle

Saudi king appoints new foreign minister in major cabinet reshuffle

Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz was named as the minister for the national guard.

In addition to being Saudi Arabia's long-serving finance minister, Al-Assaf is a member of the board of directors at Saudi Aramco and chairman of the Saudi Fund for Development.

Jubeir, who sought to defend the tainted government internationally after Khashoggi's murder, was effectively demoted to minister of state for foreign affairs, the decree added without explaining the change.

The revamp left untouched the authority of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler facing intense global scrutiny over the October 2 murder of journalist Khashoggi, which tipped the kingdom into one of its worst crises.

Saudi King Salman issued a royal order on Thursday demanding a cabinet reshuffle, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Ibrahim al-Assaf will replace Adel al-Jubeir, the foreign ministry said on Thursday citing the decree.

Born in 1949, Al-Assaf completed his BA in economics and political science from King Saud University in Riyadh in 1971.

Turki Shabbaneh, who has held positions in privately owned Saudi TV channels, was named minister of media.

The fallout over Khashoggi's murder is widely seen as the kingdom's worst diplomatic crisis since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, in which most of the hijackers were identified as Saudi nationals.

Khashoggi was an outspoken critic of the ruling House of Saud.

Turki al-Sheikh has been moved to a new portfolio heading up the entertainment authority. Prince Abdullah had been deputy governor of Mecca.

Sheikh was replaced as head of the sports authority by Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Faisal. This means al-Sheikh no longer oversees a cybersecurity and programming body that was led by Saud al-Qahtani, a close aide to the crown prince who was sacked from his post and sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for helping to mastermind the plot that led to Khashoggi's killing.

2- The Minister of Interior as a member.

Saudi Arabia denies the crown prince knew of the plot. The U.S. Senate, however, passed a unanimous resolution saying it believes the crown prince is to blame for the murder. He's been supported by President Donald Trump who has touted U.S. -Saudi ties. His critics point to USA intelligence reports and say an operation like this could not have happened without his knowledge.

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