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King Salman reshuffles key posts in Saudi government

King Salman has appointed his second housing minister in three months [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 13 July, 2015

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Saudi Arabia's King Salman has named a new head of the royal court, housing minister and a governor his latest round of government reshuffling.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Monday named a new housing minister and replaced the head of the royal court in his latest government shuffle.

A decree named Minister of State Khalid bin Abd al-Rahman al-Issa to replace Hamad bin Abd al-Aziz al-Suwailem as head of the royal court, a type of gatekeeper to the king.

The chief of the royal court is position of utmost importance tantamount to being the nation's prime minister.

Under the late King Abdullah the former head of the royal court Khaled al-Tuwaijri, who was expelled from the royal palace on the first day King Salman took power, was known by critics as “King Khaled” because of his influence over the King.

The decree gave no reason for that or the other changes.

Suwailem had held the post since late April when he took over from Salman's powerful son Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of a major shake-up which saw the king's son named Deputy Crown Prince and second in line to the throne.

Mohammed bin Salman is also defence minister and holds other positions.

Concentrating power in his inner circle, the king at that time also named Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince.

    

Hugail is one of the top Saudi housing experts and will certainly have a new ideas to find solutions to the Kingdom’s housing crisis

- Essam al-Arab

A day later, King Salman further streamlined administration by merging the royal court with the crown prince's court, based on a suggestion by Mohammed bin Nayef, official media said at the time.

A separate royal decree on Monday named Majid bin Abdullah bin Hamad al-Hugail as housing minister.

The decree described Hugail, who was the managing director for the Rafal Real Estate Development Company, as a professor.

He replaces an official who temporarily held the portfolio after the previous minister's dismissal in April.

The Kingdom is building hundreds of thousands of homes for its citizens in an effort to address a severe housing shortage.

Head of the Saudi Consultancy Centre, Essam al-Arab, told al-Araby al-Jadeed, “Hugail is one of the top Saudi housing experts and will certainly have a new ideas to find solutions to the Kingdom’s housing crisis.”

Another royal decree named Prince Mishaal bin Abdallah bin Musaid bin Jalwi al-Saud as governor of the Northern Frontier Province which borders Iraq to replace the previous governor who died this month.

Prince Mishaal had been serving as an adviser to the king.

The Arabic language hashtag #RoyalOrders was the top trending topic on Twitter in Saudi Arabia on Monday with users voicing their opinions on the latest shakeup.

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