Magazine article The Middle East

King Salman Launches 'New Broom' Offensive

Magazine article The Middle East

King Salman Launches 'New Broom' Offensive

Article excerpt

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has announced a major cabinet reshuffle, a week after he acceded to the throne. The chief of intelligence and the head of the national security council have both been replaced. Other top officials, including the ministers of defence, oil, and foreign affairs, have kept their jobs. The governor of Mecca and the governor of the capital Riyadh were replaced as were several senior religious officials.

The new appointments came a week after King Salman acceded to the throne following the death of late King Abdullah and further cements his hold on power, with a sweeping shakeup that saw two sons of the late King Abdullah fired, and the heads of intelligence and other key agencies replaced alongside a cabinet shuffle.

Top officials from the Ports Authority, the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Kingdom's police were among those let go.

King Salman also reached out directly to his subjects. One of his more than 30 decrees ordered "two months' basic salary to all Saudi government civil and military employees," the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said. Students and pensioners got similar bonuses. He asked that his subjects "remember him in their prayers".

General Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah Al Humaidan became the new intelligence chief, holding cabinet rank. The change comes after authorities in the Kingdom last year blamed suspects linked to an extremist group for shooting and wounding a foreign national.

A separate decree said Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a nephew of late King Abdullah, had been removed from his posts as Secretary General of the National Security Council and adviser to the King. …

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