Saudi Arabia - Government reshuffle was expected as its four-year term was up
DUBAI (Reuters) - The Saudi king's government reshuffle was expected because the cabinet must be replaced and reappointed every four years, the government said on Friday, giving a technocratic explanation to a move seen by critics as an attempt at crisis management. The assertion was issued by the government communications office after the king elevated veteran government figures to key cabinet positions on Thursday, including installing a former finance minister to head the foreign ministry.
DUBAI (Reuters) - The Saudi king's government reshuffle was expected because the cabinet must be replaced and reappointed every four years, the government said on Friday, giving a technocratic explanation to a move seen by critics as an attempt at crisis management.
The assertion was issued by the government communications office after the king elevated veteran government figures to key cabinet positions on Thursday, including installing a former finance minister to head the foreign ministry.
The position of national security adviser went to a Harvard-educated son of Saudi Arabia's first intelligence chief who has also long been a fixture in the royal court.
Most other ministers remained in their roles and some allies of King Salman's son and heir, Crown Prince Mohammed, 33, were also promoted.
Analysts said the moves were aimed at reversing the damage done to the image of the government by the murder of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.
A statement by the communications office cited the Saudi official as saying the reshuffle reflected routine technocratic considerations and came at the end of the cabinet's four-year term, as required by law.
"The reshuffle is designed to ensure that the Cabinet has the best combination of the experience and know-how to meet the needs of the Kingdom over the coming four years and strengthen our relations with friendly countries around the world," the official was cited as saying in the statement.
(Reporting by Stephen Kalin, writing by Hesham Hajali and Katie Paul, editing by Raissa Kasolowsky, William Maclean)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.