Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz issued a Royal degree yesterday for a cabinet reshuffle, the first since he came to power, that included relieving several ministers from their posts and appointed a woman as undersecretary for the first time in the kingdom’s history.
The Royal Decree named Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja as Minister of Culture and Information instead of Eyad Madani; Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabia as Health Minister instead of Dr. Hamad Al-Manae; Mohammad Al-Essa as Justice Minister to replace Abdullah Al-Sheikh, who was appointed Chairman of the Shura Council.
Moreover, Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammad was appointed Minister of Education instead of Abdullah Al-Obaid.
Education undersecretaries appointed included Noura Al-Fayez, heading girls’ education affairs, making her the first woman to hold such a post in the history of Saudi Arabia.
Shura Council Chairman Sheikh Saleh bin Abdullah Hamid was appointed Chairman of the Higher Judicial Council instead of Sheikh Saleh Al-Luhaidan; Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Hamin was appointed Chairman of the Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Deterrence of Vice.
King Abdullah also named Muhammad Al-Jasser as the new governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), the Kingdom’s central bank. He replaces Hamad Al-Sayari, who had been the SAMA chief since 1985.