Saudi King Salman announces sweeping changes to cabinet after Khashoggi fallout

Saudi King Orders Cabinet Shakeup After Khashoggi’s Killing

Saudi Arabia's King Salman ordered a sweeping government reshuffle Thursday, replacing key security and political figures including the foreign minister, as the kingdom grapples with the global fallout over critic Jamal Khashoggi's murder.

Assaf, a former long-serving finance minister and a board member of national oil giant Saudi Aramco, was among several people detained as part of a "corruption crackdown" in November, 2017.

Both councils are headed by the king's son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose powers, including roles as deputy prime minister and defense minister, were untouched in the overhaul.

Sheikh's appointment as head of entertainment means he no longer oversees a cybersecurity and programming body that was led by Saud al-Qahtani, a close aide to Prince Mohammed who was sacked from his post and sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for helping to mastermind the plot in Istanbul that led to Khashoggi's killing.

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has been relieved from his position and moved to a post of a minister of state for foreign affairs, the Saudi Press Agency said on Thursday, citing a royal decree.

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, demoted under the reshuffle on Thursday, was seen as a leftover of the late King Abdullah.

Al-Assaf's biography on Aramco's website says he holds a Ph.D.in economics from Colorado State University, a master's degree in economics from the University of Denver and a bachelor's degree from King Saud University.

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Turki Shabbaneh, a Saudi TV presenter, was named minister of media.

Following the royal decrees issued to reshuffle the Saudi council of ministers, pictures spread on social media showing a number of council members at the top of mount Lawz.

Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi consul general in Istanbul, which is administered by the foreign ministry.

The surprise shake up saw the appointment of a new National Guard chief and the head of a new space agency, but the ministries of energy and finance were unaffected despite an economic downturn. Prince Abdullah had been deputy governor of Mecca.

General Kalid bin Qirar al-Harbi was also named general security chief, while Musaed al-Aiban was appointed national security adviser.

Khashoggi was an outspoken critic of the ruling House of Saud.

Jubeir, one of Riyadh's most frequent public spokesmen, was replaced as the kingdom struggles to block U.S. Senate resolutions calling for an end to U.S. military support for the war in Yemen and blaming Crown Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, for the murder of Khashoggi.

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