After almost a week as the new king of Saudi Arabia, Salman has signed more than 30 decrees amongst which is the reshuffling of the cabinet, the merging of the Education Ministry and Higher Education Ministry and also brought an end to the Supreme Council for Petroleum and Minerals Affairs by replacing it with a new body.
Two of the late king’s son; Governor Prince Mishaal of the Mecca region and Prince Turki who governed the capital Riyadh have been relieved off their post but his other son Miteb who serves as Minister of the National Guard, an important strategic post, continues to be part of the cabinet.
The National Security Council has been dissolved and its Secretary General Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a nephew to the late king, has not been given a new post. Bandar used to serve as the intelligence chief but has been replaced by General Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah al-Humaidan.
Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, and Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf were also left in their respective posts making many to believe that the Kingdom’s foreign policy is unlikely to change.
The new cabinet has 31 members and a couple of them are newcomers. King Salman’s son, Mohammed bin Nayef, replaced Deputy Crown Prince Moqren as Defense Minister. His appointment as defense minister came hours after his father became King and Moqren promoted as Deputy Crown Prince. Nayef’s position is expected to solidify control by the new king’s Sudayri branch of the royal family. Their influence had waned under Abdullah.
The King has also ordered for a two months’ basic salary to all Saudi government civil and military employees and said that they deserve more.