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Saudi Royal Decrees Found National Security Center, Reverse Public Sector Pay Cuts | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (Asharq Al-Awsat Archives)

Riyadh- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, issued on Saturday a number of royal decrees that reshuffled administrative posts, appointed new ministers and established of a national security center.

Among the issued directives was an order on establishing the National Security Center, which is affiliated to the Royal Court.

King Salman also ordered the restoration of financial allowances for civil servants and military personnel that had been cut under austerity measures.

“The royal order returns all allowances, financial benefits, and bonuses to civil servants and military staff,” said the decree.

In September, Saudi Arabia cut ministers’ salaries by 20 percent and scaled back financial perks for public sector employees in one of the most drastic measures to save money at a time of low oil prices.

King Salman also ordered a two-month salary bonus to be granted for forces fighting on frontlines in Yemen.

More so, the royal decrees appointed Prince Khaled bin Salman as the new ambassador to the United States. Prince Khaled replaces Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki who served in the post for just over a year, according to the website of the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

The monarch also ordered that all academic and school exams be concluded before the month of Ramadan.

Among the other major decisions announced through a series of royal decrees on state television was the removal of Information and Cultural Minister Adel Al-Turaifi, who was replaced by Dr. Awwad bin Al-Awwad.

Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel was replaced by Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha. Civil Service Minister Khaled Al-Arj has been removed from his position. Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has been named state minister for energy affairs.

In an interesting development, all regional governors will have deputies, a number of whom were announced.

A number of new governors were appointed. Hael Governor Prince Saud bin Abdulmohsin has been replaced by Prince Abdulaziz bin Saad.

Northern Border Region Governor Mishal bin Abdullah has been replaced by Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Sultan.

In other changes, Ibrahim Al-Omar has been named governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

Khalil Al-Thaqafi is the new chief of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME).

Under reforms being directed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia is trying to make government operations more efficient and officials more accountable.

The change came among a series of orders issued by the king, who shuffled his cabinet and replaced the head of the army.

Among other orders issued by King Salman, the head of the army, Lt. Gen. Eid Al-Shalwi, was removed and named a consultant to the defense minister.

Fahad bin Turki was promoted to lieutenant general and will replace Al-Shalwi.