Saudi Arabia overhauls top government positions in wake of Jamal Khashoggi murder – National

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia’s King Salman issued a wide-ranging overhaul of high authorities posts on Thursday, together with naming a brand new international minister, following worldwide fallout from the killing of Saudi author Jamal Khashoggi practically three months in the past.

He additionally ordered a shakeup of the dominion’s supreme council that oversees issues associated to safety. The council is headed by the king’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose powers together with roles as deputy prime minister and protection minister, had been untouched within the overhaul.

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The modifications seem to additional consolidate the crown prince’s grip on energy by appointing to key posts advisers and members of the royal household seen as near him.

It might additionally sign additional efforts to indicate that modifications are being made after the U.S. Senate handed a decision saying it believes the crown prince is in charge for Khashoggi’s grisly homicide contained in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Because the crown prince struggles to persuade many in Washington and different Western capitals that he had nothing to do with Khashoggi’s killing, the soft-spoken Adel al-Jubeir was changed as international minister by Ibrahim al-Assaf, a longtime former finance minister. Al-Jubeir was appointed to minister of state for international affairs on the International Ministry.

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Al-Assaf is well-known to worldwide buyers, having led a number of Saudi delegations to the World Financial Discussion board in Davos. He served as finance minister underneath King Fahd and King Abdullah.

Al-Assaf sits on the boards of oil-giant Saudi Aramco and the dominion’s sovereign wealth fund. The crown prince oversees each entities. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Colorado State College and a grasp’s diploma from the College of Denver, in line with his biography on Aramco’s web site.

Al-Assaf had been serving as a minister of state final 12 months when he was reportedly detained on the Ritz-Carlton resort in Riyadh together with dozens of high-ranking officers and princes in an anti-corruption sweep led by the crown prince. Shortly after, al-Assaf appeared again at a Cupboard assembly to the shock of many.

The federal government didn’t identify these detained nor disclose what crimes they had been suspected of committing. The Related Press couldn’t independently verify studies of al-Assaf’s arrest. The opaque anti-corruption sweep helped Prince Mohammed consolidate energy and web the federal government greater than $13 billion in settlements.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia praises Trump administration’s ‘prudent place’ on Khashoggi homicide

The modifications introduced Thursday embrace aides to the crown prince, together with Musaed al-Aiban as nationwide safety adviser — along with different positions he holds — and former media minister Awwad al-Awwad as adviser to the royal court docket. Khalid al-Harbi was named as head of basic safety.

Turki al-Sheikh, a confidant of the crown prince, was eliminated as head of the Sports activities Authority and changed by Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Faisal. This implies al-Sheikh not oversees a cybersecurity and programming physique that was led by Saud al-Qahtani, a detailed aide to the crown prince who was fired from his put up and sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Division for serving to to mastermind the plot that led to Khashoggi’s killing.

Khashoggi wrote critically of the crown prince in columns for The Washington Put up earlier than he was killed. After denying any data of Khashoggi’s loss of life for weeks, Saudi authorities finally settled on the reason that he was killed in an operation masterminded by former advisers to Prince Mohammed. The dominion denies the crown prince had any involvement.

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Al-Sheikh will now lead the Normal Leisure Authority, a physique created in recent times to assist set up and promote concert events and different occasions that had lengthy been banned within the conservative nation.

Turki Shabbaneh, who has held positions in privately owned Saudi TV channels, was named minister of media. Hamad al-Sheikh, a royal court docket adviser and former faculty dean who studied within the U.S., was appointed minister of schooling.

The king’s eldest son, Prince Sultan bin Salman, was eliminated as head of the tourism authority. He’ll lead a brand new nationwide house company. In 1985, he grew to become the primary Arab and Muslim astronaut to fly in house.

Prince Abdullah bin Bandar was named head of the Nationwide Guard. The power is tasked primarily with the safety of the Al Saud ruling household. Prince Abdullah had been deputy governor of Mecca.

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