Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdulaziz ordered a major cabinet reshuffle and awarded bonuses to all state employees in a string of royal decrees announced by the monarch one week after succeeding his late brother King Abdullah to the throne.
Thursday’s cabinet overhaul affected 13 ministries, including justice and religious affairs portfolios, as well as Saudi Arabia’s health and education ministries.
Waleed Al-Samani was appointed Saudi Arabia’s new justice minister, replacing Mohammed Al-Eissa, while Saleh Al Al-Sheikh was renamed as minister of Islamic affairs, replacing Sulaiman Abalkhail. He previously served as Saudi minister of Islamic affairs between 1996 and December 2014.
The Saudi monarch assigned the Ministry of Education, a merger between the ministry of education and ministry of higher education, to Azzam Al-Dakhil.
The reshuffle also saw Adel Al-Toraifi being appointed as Saudi Arabia’s new minister of information and culture; Mohamed Al-Suwaiyel is the new minister of telecommunications and information technology and Abdullatif Al-Sheikh minister of municipal and rural affairs.
Other new appointments saw Majed Al-Qassabi being named minister of social affairs; Abdulrahman Al-Fadli became the agriculture minister; and Khaled Al-Araj was named minister of civil services.
Officials who maintained their positions included Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and National Guard Minister Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz.
Ministries of labor, commerce, transport, economy and planning, among others, were also unchanged.
King Salman also named Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Naif as the head of the Council for Political and Security Affairs and Defense Minister Prince Mohammed Bin Salman as the head of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs. The newly-established councils will operate under the council of ministers.
The royal order appointed new governors for Riyadh, Mecca and Qassim. Prince Faisal Bin Bandar was named governor of Riyadh, replacing Prince Turki Bin Abdullah while Prince Khaled Al-Faisal was re-appointed as governor of Mecca Province, replacing Prince Mishal Bin Abdullah. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal had been governor of Mecca between 2007 and 2013, having left the post to serve as education minister. Prince Faisal Bin Mishal was appointed as governor of Qassim.
King Salman ordered the payment of a a two-months’ salary bonus to state employees, pensioners, students and military personnel.
“Dear people: You deserve more and whatever I do will not be able to give you what you deserve,” the monarch said later on his Twitter account.