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Mohammed bin Salman appointed Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia

Following the Royal Decree signed by his father King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud
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PHOTO/BANDAR ALGALOUD/Cortesía de la Corte Real de Arabia Saudí  -   Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud appointed his son and crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, as Prime Minister as part of the Saudi Arabian kingdom's government reform.  

King Salman will continue to preside over the Cabinet meetings he attends, although de facto power will continue to be exercised by his son in view of the monarch's advanced age, 86, as has long been pointed out by various analysts, who see the 37-year-old Mohammed bin Salman as the royal ruler of the Saudi nation, and even more so as he succeeds his father as Prime Minister. Power is thus totally concentrated in the figure of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the country's current strongman.  

Also important in terms of changes in the Saudi government, Prince Khalid bin Salman has risen through the ranks from deputy minister to Minister of Defence as part of the cabinet reshuffle carried out by Royal Decree of the Saudi monarch. The new Defence Minister graduated from the King Faisal Air Academy in Riyadh and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force. The prince received his initial pilot training at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and also had advanced training at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi, USA. In addition, he studied advanced electronic warfare in France and was an F-15 pilot and tactical intelligence officer in the Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force. Before a back injury ended his career as a pilot, Prince Khaled flew more than 50 combat missions as part of the international coalition's campaign against Daesh in Syria and as part of operations Decisive Storm and Renewal of Hope in Yemen, as noted by Arab News.  

Another ministerial portfolio that has undergone changes is that of education. Thus, Yousef bin Abdullah al-Bunyan, CEO of the Saudi chemical company SABIC, becomes Minister of Education. 

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PHOTO/BANDAR ALGALOUD/SAUDI ROYAL COURT/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS - Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman

The ministers who remain in their posts are Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Investment Minister Khalid bin Abdulaziz al-Falih, Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud, and Finance Minister Mohamed bin Abdullah al-Jadaan. Also remaining in office are Prince Abdullah bin Bandar, who continues as Minister of the National Guard, Walid al-Samaani, who remains Minister of Justice, and Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, who continues as Minister of Islamic Affairs. Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan retains his post as Minister of Culture, and Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Faisal retains his post as Minister of Sports. Tawfiq bin Fawzan al-Rabiah will also remain in his post as Minister of Hajj and Umrah and Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi will also remain as Minister of Commerce. Meanwhile, Bandar bin Ibrahim al-Khorayef will continue as Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Ahmed al-Khateeb as Minister of Tourism, Faisal bin Fadhil Alibrahim as Minister of Economy and Planning and Fahd bin Abdulrahman al-Jalajel as Minister of Health, as detailed by Arab News.  

It is clear from this government reform that the portfolios related to economy and finance will not undergo substantial changes while keeping the main ministers in this area in their posts. This has to do with the good economic performance of Saudi Arabia, which is demonstrated by the latest data on the Kingdom's finances. It is worth noting here, for example, that the rating agency Standard & Poor's has predicted that Saudi GDP will grow at the highest rate in ten years in 2022.  

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PHOTO/SAUDI PRESS AGENCY - Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud chairs a government meeting via videoconference

The Saudi kingdom is also continuing with its strategy of diversifying its economy so as not to depend exclusively on hydrocarbons within the Vision 2030 plan, through which the Kingdom has been developing in recent years various sectors such as tourism, new technologies, renewable energies and even sports so as not to be overly dependent on oil as its main source of income. This will give the country more stability for the future.

The Saudi government's plan also envisages greater social evolution in the country, with greater openness and development of freedoms. This section includes actions that have been carried out in recent years in the country, such as ending the ban on women driving, limiting the power of the religious police, granting more freedom in the use of the Islamic veil and allowing the mixing of men and women at public events, all under the guidelines of the power embodied by Mohammed bin Salman.