Saudi Arabia: Cabinet Reshuffle Consolidates Power for Crown Prince

HeadlineDec 28, 2018

In Saudi Arabia, King Salman has consolidated power for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ordering a reshuffle of the Cabinet, nearly three months after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which caused international uproar and brought Saudi leadership under close scrutiny. Notably, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir was demoted to the position of minister of state for foreign affairs. Al-Jubeir blamed Khashoggi’s killing on rogue Saudi agents; he also previously characterized the international outcry over Khashoggi’s murder as “fairly hysterical.” The Cabinet shakeup is seen as a boon for the crown prince by placing loyalists in key positions. Bin Salman will retain his roles in the government, including deputy prime minister and defense minister.

Earlier this month, the Senate passed a resolution saying it believes the crown prince is responsible for Khashoggi’s murder. Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed by Saudi agents after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

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