The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, issued on Tuesday a royal order appointing his son, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Prime Minister, as part of the restructuring of the cabinet which kept the foreign and oil ministers in their positions.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported: “His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, shall be the Prime Minister; an exception to the provision of Article (fifty-sixth) of the Basic Law of Governance, and from the relevant provisions contained in the Cabinet Law.”
According to the orders, the second son of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Prince Khalid, was appointed Minister of Defense (formerly Deputy Minister of Defense). Crown Prince Mohammed was Minister of Defense.
The cabinet reshuffle kept the King’s son Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman as energy minister.
Prince Faisal bin Farhan retained the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Al-Jadaan as Minister of Finance, and Khalid Al-Falih as Minister of Investment.
One royal order said King Salman would continue to chair cabinet meetings that he attends.
Reuters quoted a Saudi official as saying the crown prince’s new role as prime minister was in line with a previous mandate from the king for tasks to him, including representing the kingdom on foreign visits and chairing summits it hosts.
The official added that the crown prince, on the orders of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, already oversees the main executive bodies of the state on a daily basis and that his new role as prime minister comes in this context.
After the royal orders were announced, Saudi state television showed footage of King Salman presiding over a weekly cabinet meeting.
Crown Prince Meets Defense Minister
The Saudi Press Agency reported today that the crown prince met at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense in Jeddah, the new Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman and the ministry’s leaders.
The Crown Prince expressed his thanks and appreciation for the sincere efforts of the men of the Ministry of Defense and the great progress reached with the implementation of the ministry’s development program, and the rise in internal self-sufficiency of the military industries from 2 percent to 15 percent, expressing his hope that it will reach 50 percent.
For his part, Prince Khalid bin Salman stressed that the achievements of the Ministry of Defense during its development programs and what it will achieve in the future, through the continued implementation of its development programs drawn up by the Crown Prince, come under the guidance and continuous support of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has radically changed the kingdom since coming to power in 2017 as he leads efforts to diversify the economy and not depend on oil revenues alone.