King Salman Announces ‘Sweeping’ Cabinet Reshuffle Affecting Top Domestic, Foreign Policy Posts

King Salman announced on live TV on Thursday a major and sweeping reshuffling of top cabinet positions in Saudi Arabia, the first such change in leadership since June.

The royal decree replaces Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir with former finance minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf.

Al-Assaf was detained, then released within weeks of his detention at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel last year. Al-Assaf was one of the few cleared of wrongdoing without having to make any payments to the state.

Al-Assaf, from Qassim, is well known on the international stage and in Washington, and served as minister of state in addition to key economic roles. He represented the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Washington at the International Monetary Fund and is a member of the board of directors of Saudi Aramco.

Several other top leadership changes were announced, according to Arab News, including:

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

-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, replacing Turki Al Asheikh

-Turki Al Asheikh 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.

-Khaled Al-Harbi was appointed head of the Public Security Directorate, replacing Saud bin Abdul Aziz Hilal

-Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majed Al-Qassabi will be responsible for the newly-created 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. Awad bin Saleh Al Awad, who was relieved as Minister of Media, has been appointed as a Royal Court advisor.

-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.

-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.

Last week the kingdom announced the creation of three government bodies aimed at improving its intelligence operations.