Saudi king orders Cabinet shakeup after Khashoggi's killing


"The reshuffle saw the appointment of some young princes, but also veteran statesmen to positions of power".

New Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf is a former long-serving finance minister and a board member of Saudi oil giant Aramco.

The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has made the kingdom a focus of worldwide outrage.

Saudi King Salman issued a royal order on Thursday demanding a cabinet reshuffle, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Among those moved in the series of royal decrees announced on Saudi state television was Adel al-Jubeir, who had become one of the best-known Saudi officials in the West in his posts as foreign minister and, previously, as ambassador to the United States.

Al-Assaf is well known to global investors, having led several Saudi delegations to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

King Salman also appointed Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz to replace Prince Khaled bin Ayyaf as chief of the National Guard.

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Turki Shabbaneh, who has held positions in privately owned Saudi TV channels, was named minister of media.

Hamad al-Sheikh was made education minister.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Riyadh for hastily arranged talks with top Saudi leaders, as sources told CNN that the Kingdom is preparing to acknowledge that missing journalist Kamal Khashoggi died at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Al-Sheikh will now lead the General Entertainment Authority, a body created in recent years to help organize and promote concerts and other events that had always been banned in the conservative country.

Khashoggi was an outspoken critic of the ruling House of Saud. This means al-Sheikh no longer oversees a cybersecurity and programming body that was led by Saud al-Qahtani, a close aide to the crown prince who was sacked from his post and sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for helping to mastermind the plot that led to Khashoggi's killing. Prince Abdullah had been deputy governor of Mecca. Leading U.S. lawmakers, including Senator Lindsey Graham, have blamed Prince Mohammed for the murder, a conclusion they said was backed by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Saudi Arabia last week slammed as "interference" a US Senate resolution that held Prince Mohammed responsible for the killing, and another that sought to end American military support for the Riyadh-led war in Yemen.