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Saudi king makes minor cabinet reshuffle

The main ministries of defence, interior and foreign affairs held by top members of the royal family, remain unchanged.

Riyadh: Saudi King Abdullah made a minor reshuffle in the cabinet of the oil-rich kingdom on Tuesday, the first since 2009, state media reported.

The main ministries of defence, interior and foreign
affairs, held by top members of the royal family, remain
unchanged, as does the strategic energy ministry.

In the reshuffle, planning and economy minister Khaled
al-Gosaibi was replaced by Mohammed al-Jasser, who had served
since February 2009 as governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary
Agency (SAMA), or the central bank.

Fahed al-Mubarak succeeded Jasser.

The king also removed the minister of commerce and
industry, Abdullah Zainel, and replaced him with Tawfeeq
al-Rabeeah, while the minister of hajj Fuad al-Farsi was
replaced by Bandar al-Hajjar.

Mohammed al-Fayez, who served as civil service minister,
was replaced by Abdullah al-Barrak.

The current defence minister, Prince Salman bin Abdul
Aziz, a younger half-brother of the king, took office in
November, following the death of his brother, the then crown
prince Sultan who held the portfolio for decades.

The current cabinet was formed in March 2007, and should
have been replaced in spring this year after serving its
four-year term.

In February 2009, the king made limited changes to the
cabinet, and appointed the first woman to the post of deputy
education minister.


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