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Saudi King reshuffles top defence posts

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz reshuffled on Wednesday the top army and civilian posts in the Defence Ministry, state news agency SPA reported.

Prince Sultan bin Salman was removed from his post as deputy defence minister, a position that he had assumed in August. Prince Khalid Bin Bandar, who served as Riyadh's governor, has replaced him. Prince Khalid graduated from the UK's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and has a long military background. This is his first civilian post; he previously assumed top defence posts in the past, including commander of the Saudi Land Force.

The King appointed Mohammed bin Abdullah Ayesh, a former air force commander who retired last year, as assistant defence minister.

The Saudi King also replaced his Chief of Staff General Hussein Al-Qabeel, who is retiring, with his former deputy Air Force General Fayyad Ruwaili.

Major General Mohammed Al-Shaalan was appointed as the new Air Force commander, after being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General.

The Royal Naval Forces commander, Lieutenant General Dakhil Allah Al-Waqdani, was relieved from his post to be replaced by his deputy, the newly appointed Chief Lieutenant Abdullah Sultan.

The Saudi King appointed the former deputy governor of Riyadh, his son Prince Turki bin Abdullah, to governor.

The King of Saudi Arabia is said to have endorsed recommendations by the Crown Prince and the defence minister, Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, when making the new appointments.

Although it was not clear why the King has introduced the new appointments, since Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz took office as Defence Minister in October 2011, several changes in the army ranks have been introduced, including appointing three deputies to his post.


Middle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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