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Sat 31 Aug 2019 01:02 AM

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Saudi Arabia creates industry ministry, replaces royal court chief

Bandar al-Khorayef, a top business executive, is appointed head of the new ministry of industry and mineral resources

Saudi Arabia creates industry ministry, replaces royal court chief
Saudi Arabia's ruler King Salman.

Saudi Arabia on Friday announced the creation of a new natural resources ministry, separating it from the energy ministry, while replacing the head of the royal court in a series of official decrees.

Bandar al-Khorayef, a top business executive, was appointed head of the new ministry of industry and mineral resources as the world's top crude exporter seeks to diversify its oil-reliant economy.

Other royal decrees published on state media named Fahd al-Essa as head of the royal court, the centre of power and politics in the absolute monarchy.

Essa is a royal insider said to be close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler and heir apparent.

Former information minister Awwad al-Awwad was appointed head of the human rights commission, while Mazen al-Kahmous was named new chairman of the national anti-corruption commission.

The shake-up comes ahead of the first anniversary in October of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall