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CAIRO (Sputnik) – Adel Jubeir, the former head of the Saudi Foreign Ministry who was demoted to a more junior position of the minister of state for foreign affairs, will remain at the helm of the kingdom’s diplomacy, local media reported.
On Thursday, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued a decree reshuffling the country’s cabinet. Under the document, Jubeir was replaced by former finance minister Ibrahim Assaf, who was dismissed in 2016 after 20 years in office. Notably, in November 2017, Assaf was detained as part of an anti-corruption purge, initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and was subsequently released.
The Sabq news outlet reported, citing an informed source, that the new appointments in the Saudi Foreign Ministry were aimed at reforming its work. According to the source, Assaf, who has a vast experience as a ministry head, will perform organizational functions and will be in charge of improving the ministry’s structure. Meanwhile, Jubeir would be released from these functions which would allow him to concentrate on diplomatic policies, the source added.
Jubeir became the top diplomat in 2015. Over the recent months, Jubeir has defended the crown prince and the kingdom as a whole as Riyadh faced strong international criticism over the murder of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey in October.
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